Somaiya leads BJP in the battle against defilement

by Web Desk | Published: 23-02-2021

BMC Election 2022
On January 11, former MP and senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.  Somaiya alleged that Thackeray had submitted his affidavit ahead of the May 2020 assembly elections.  He said 19 bungalows worth Rs 5.29 crore were not disclosed by the CM and were owned by his wife Reshmi and Shiv sena legislator Ravindrawaikar wife, Manisha The complaint against Thackeray has sent shivers down the spines of political institutions in the state. 
Somaiya did what no other BJP leader did and he train his gun against the Chief Minister.  For Somaya, it was just another salvo in the fight against corruption.  Interestingly, all his targets so far have been Shiv Sena leaders, and his fight is like a crusade against the Shiv Sena.  Somaiya exposed irregularities in the handling of the Shiv Sena-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Covid-19.  Somaiya claimed at the time that BMC had bought land worth Rs 2.6 crore in Dahisar for Rs 354 crore.  He also alleged that BMC's Rs 3,000 crore project to build a 5,000-bed covid-19 hospital in Mulund was a scam.  Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has been pursued by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) for alleged land grabbing. 
"The mayor runs his business Kish Corporate Services from the ground floor of the Gomata Janata SRA Society flat," he said.  "This land is not allotted to her or her family. It is intended to serve as a social welfare center."  In a complaint to the Municipal Commissioner, I.S.  Chahal and Somaiya said the mayor had given the BMC contract to his family members.  Next, Somaiya turned his attention to Transport Minister Anil Parab.  He alleged that the Parab land was confiscated from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MADA).  The MADA said it had sent a notice to demolish the minister's illegal structure. 
However, Parab rejected Somlyay’s claim.  "This is a political vengeance," he said.  "I do not know why MHADA placed the order when I did not own the property."Somaiya found irregularities in residential buildings constructed by Shiv Sena leader and MLA Pratap Sarnaik's Vihang Group.  (The Enforcement Directorate raided Sarnaik in November 2020.) "The Vihang Group built the Vihang Garden Society in 2008," he said.  “Two buildings there are illegal;  Some 114 flat owners cannot sell their flats and do not even have a work certificate for a building, ”Somayya said. 
He alleged that Rs 1,100 crore from the National Spot Exchange Limited scam was used by Sarnai, the founder of Vinah Astha Housing Singh LLP, and his partner Mohit Agarwal.  "When I filed the petition in Jignesh Shah's NSL scam, I realized that Sarnaik was one of the beneficiaries," Somaiya said.  Earlier, Mohit Agarwal, who was arrested, had handed over Rs 1,100 crore to Vihang Astha Housing Singh LLP.  With this money they bought land in Titwala.  Now, ED has acquired the land and is looking for deals.  ” But the biggest revelation so far is the allegation against Thackeray. 
In 2014, Reshmi and Manisha bought land in the village of Korlai from architect Anve Naik.  Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami has been charged with Naik's suicide because his company failed to pay Naik. Somaiya said he came to know about the deal as the relatives live a few kilometers away from Korlai.  "The coast is only 100 meters from the coast," he said.  There are 30 plots and 19 bungalows.  Total [built-up area] 23,000 square feet.  After I revealed it, the next day Reshmi Thackeray paid her house tax for six years.  He said the CM had revealed only land and not bungalows. The Supreme Court has asked the investigating agencies to take strict action in such cases.  There are examples of invalidation of the election of the representative in question.  The Maharashtra Chief Electoral Officer has assured me that he will go into detail on the complaint. Somaiya, a chartered accountant, said he was not targeting the Shiv Sena.  "Look at my record," he said.  I have dug cases against former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gellot and powerful people in Assam.  My party has told me to expose corruption, and I do exactly that.  "His efforts will help the BJP a lot in the upcoming BMC elections in February 2022," he said.  In 2017 too, the BMC won the wrath of the Shiv Sena leadership by going all out against the Somaiya scam. 
Somaiya, who was an MP at the time, was forced not to give a Lok Sabha ticket in 2019 as the party, which was allied with the BJP, was furious.  The BJP was responsible.  However, it helped the BJP to increase their chances in BMC, from 30 in 2012 to 82 in 2017, just two of the Shiv Sena's 84 seats.
Harshal Pradhan, a media adviser and close aide to Thackeray, told the week that all of Somaiya's claims were baseless.  He said the Shiv Sena does not take people like Kirit Somaiya seriously.  It is his habit to make allegations every time there is an election.  He is doing it now as we go to the 2022 BMC elections.  All the assets of [the Chief Minister] are listed in his declaration.