Mumbai, July 6: Mumbai Police have filed a closure report in an alleged corruption case filed against Mumbai MP Ravindra Waikar, barely four months after he quit the Shiv Sena (UBT) to join the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, which is a crucial constituent of the ruling MahaYuti in Maharashtra. The development drew sharp reactions from the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), which said now only fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is left to be given a clean chit by the ruling alliance.

Following a hue and cry raised by former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) had booked Waikar, his wife Manisha, their business associates Aaso Mehlani, Raj Lalchandani, Prithpal Bindra, and an architect named Arun Dubey. After a complaint was filed by BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) engineer Santosh Mandavkar with the Azad Maidan police station, the EOW took over the case and charged the six persons with alleged irregularities, flouting rules and civic norms, in connection with a luxury hotel of Waikar coming up in Jogeshwari East. Mumbai: EOW Files Closure Report in Jogeshwari Land Case Against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Waikar.

While Somaiya has declined to comment on the latest development, the MVA pounced on the MahaYuti with strong comments criticising the BJP. “The government has taken all the corrupt people into its fold… Even Waikar had switched sides fearing action against him. Is there rule of law? Now only Dawood is left to be given a clean chit," said Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut.

State Congress President Nana F. Patole said that this was yet another instance of BJP’s ‘washing machine’ tactic that has cleansed Waikar, and is one of the numerous incidents of the ruling party misusing the central agencies like the ED and the CBI. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads all the corrupt in the country… Waikar had mentioned how he was pressured to switch sides to join the ruling alliance before the (Lok Sabha) elections. So it's not surprising that he has been exonerated and the files against him have been closed,” said Patole.

Maharashtra Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said the Waikar case is another example of ‘political blackmail’ being practised in the state for the past 10 years. “It starts with people like Somaiya hurling allegations against a target, then filing a complaint, the probe agencies enter to scare the person and his family with raids and probes, and then the political leader is forced to join the ruling alliance. In the LS polls, people have cleaned up politics to an extent, but more needs to be done,” Sawant said. Shiv Sena Leader Ravindra Waikar's Kin Booked for Carrying Phone Inside Lok Sabha Vote Counting Centre.

Once a close confidante of Shiv Sena (UBT) President and ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray, Waikar came into the limelight last month after he was elected from the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat by a wafer-thin margin of 48 votes, defeating his Shiv Sena (UBT) rival Amol G. Kirtikar. In its closure report, the EOW has contended that the reason for dropping the case is ‘incomplete information and misunderstanding’ in the complaint lodged by the BMC. On his part, Waikar said that he had always maintained his innocence in the past and even now, as the allegations were fake, plus he had strictly followed the laws and now the truth has won.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 06, 2024 09:55 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website