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Clamour to probe Shiv Sena 'horse-trading' of MNS corporators (Lead)

Mumbai, Oct 16 (IANS) A day after MNS President Raj Thackeray hurled allegations of “horse-trading” of his party corporators against his cousin and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, the BJP and an NGO on Monday demanded a detailed probe, including by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in the matter.

On Sunday, Raj Thackeray accused rival Shiv Sena of “buying out” six out of seven Maharashtra Navnirman Sena corporators in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation for alleged payouts of Rs 5 crore each three days ago.

Taking note, Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Mumbai Kirit Somaiya on Monday wrote to ED Joint Director Satyavrat Kumar seeking action for “corruption, money-laundering, anti-democratic activities and other malpractices” indulged in by Shiv Sena which engineered the defection of the six MNS corporators to its fold.

“Request to investigate. All actions of/by these six MNS corporators be observed/put on hold till the investigation completed,” Somaiya urged the ED.

Quoting Raj Thackeray, he said it was “money laundering” by Shiv Sena and the six MNS corporators were paid Rs 5 crore each.

Simultaneously, the Jai Ho Foundation has written to the Maharashtra Lokayukta demanding a probe into the revelations made by Raj Thackeray.

“Six municipal corporators are taken into custody by (Shiv Sena). Such corrupt practices and anti-democratic activities should be dealt with strongly,” the Foundation President Afoz Malik wrote to the Lokayukta.

In his plea to the ED, Somaiya also referred to a “hawala transaction” between Chandrakant Patel of Pushpak Bullion and the Shiv Sena and MNS corporators in the matter.

He pointed out that Patel was arrested for money-laundering not long ago by the ED which had reportedly detected similar transactions between him (Patel), the Shiv Sena and its leaders.

On October 13, the six MNS corporators suddenly walked over to the Shiv Sena after which a stunned BJP cried foul, accusing its ally of “horse-trading” and lodging complaints with Maharashtra State Election Commissioner, Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Konkan Development Commissioner.

The MNS chief, whose party is now reduced to a single BMC corporator, attacked his estranged cousin Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday, charging him with playing “low-level” (neech) politics and allegedly buying the corporators.

Meanwhile, hoping to save its flock, the MNS shot off a letter to the Konkan Development Commissioner asking that the six party corporators, who defected to Shiv Sena, should not be recognized as a separate group.

Post Source: Ians feed

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