Mumbai: A fresh war of words have erupted between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party with both sides threatening each other to “take action”, here on Friday.
The latest round of verbal firings came in the wake of BJP state vice-president Kirit Somaiya’s demands to probe around 30 alleged land deals between Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s family and certain other Shiv Sena leaders and the late architect Anvay M. Naik.
Momentarily losing his cool, Shiv Sena MP virtually warned Somaiya to order investigations by any of the agencies it controls like ED and CBI, “or even go to the US’ CIA, FBI, or Russian KGB, as well as the United Nations, before making such baseless allegations”.
Terming the BJP leader’s charges as ‘frivolous’, Raut said: “What is he talking about… Which 30 properties, show me even five. There was one transaction which was absolutely legal.”
Referring to BJP as “Shethji’s party” with Somaiya as its “Vyapari Pravakta”, Raut said he talks as per the wishes of his bosses sitting in Delhi.
On the demands for probe by Somaiya, a visibly irritated Raut shot back: “Why only the ED… let there be a probe by CBI also… And why stop with ED and CBI only. Let them go to Interpol, CIA, FBI, KGB or the United Nations.”
He said dismissively that this was the reason the BJP was “made to sit home for five years” by the people of Maharashtra.
“Rest assured, the MVA government will continue for five years. We will even ensure that BJP sits at home for 25 years,” Raut vowed, daring the BJP to prove its allegations.
Reacting, Somaiya said: “If Thackeray has the courage, let him clarify the matter for the people of Maharashtra,” and dared Raut to file a case against him and prove him wrong.”
Congress state Spokesperson Sachin Sawant slammed Somaiya, accusing him of diverting the issue of Naik and his mother’s double-suicide case through his statements.
“What is the connection between Naik’s suicide and his land dealings? Somaiya is not at all concerned about justice to the Naik family… How the Devendra Fadnavis government suppressed the probe because the accused is linked with BJP. BJP is anti-Maharashtra, its clear now,” Sawant said sharply.
The Congress leader added that a BJP MP Rajiv Chandrashekhar is a partner in Republic TV and hence its Managing Director and Chief Editor Arnab Goswami is “directly connected with BJP”.
The latest brawl flared up after Somaiya raked up the issue of certain land transactions between the late Naik and Thackeray’s wife Rashmi Thackeray, and Manisha Waikar, the wife of senior Sena leader Ravindra Waikar, in 2014.
Later, Somaiya alleged that there are 30 land deals between the Thackerays and Naik though he did not specify if there were any irregularities in the deals.
The matter is politically sensitive as Naik’s widow Akshata and daughter Adnya have petitioned the Bombay High Court seeking a reopening of the probe into the suicide case of Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik on May 5, 2018, in which one of the accused named in a suicide note is Goswami.
Raut reiterated that the MVA will ensure “justice to the family of a Marathi manoos and his mother” in the case.
“They (BJP) don’t want a Marathi manoos secure justice but go to meet the accused in jail and try to shield a criminal,” Raut said.