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Shiv Sena Leader Yashwant Jadhav Summoned By ED In FEMA Case Months After I-T Raids

In a key development ahead of the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation polls, senior Shiv Sena leader Yashwant Jadhav was summoned by the ED in a FEMA case.

Written By
Akhil Oka

Image: Twitter

In a key development ahead of the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation polls, senior Shiv Sena leader Yashwant Jadhav was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate. He will be questioned on the allegation of violating the rules of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). As per sources, the investigation is at a preliminary stage and is based on the Income Tax raids conducted at his premises in February this year. While Jadhav was a Shiv Sena corporator and the chairperson of the BMC Standing Committee, his wife Yamini Jadhav is a sitting MLA from Byculla. 

Reacting to the ED summons, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil remarked, "I won't comment on this matter. All these organizations come under the Central government but the Central government doesn't control them. They are independent. Let them do their work."

I-T raids on Yashwant Jadhav

Earlier on February 25, the Income Tax department carried out searches at more than 35 premises linked to Yashwant Jadhav and some BMC contractors. Issuing a statement on March 3, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) asserted that these contractors prima facie evaded income to the extent of Rs.200 crore owing to malpractices. Without explicitly naming Jadhav, it alleged, "Numerous incriminating documents, loose sheets and digital evidences have been found and seized. The evidence so seized strongly indicates a close nexus between these contractors and the said (prominent) person". 

The CBDT added, 'Evidence of their involvement in international hawala transaction and routing of the ill-gotten money to certain foreign jurisdictions have also been recovered". Back then, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut claimed that the raids were done with an eye on the upcoming municipal polls. He opined, "Municipal Corporation polls are here, so central agencies have worked only in Maharashtra and West Bengal. (They have) no work in the rest of India. All is well there". 

High-stakes battle for BMC

BMC is considered Asia’s richest civic body with an annual budget of nearly Rs.37,000 crore. Shiv Sena has been a formidable force in the civic elections even when NCP-Congress was in power in the state. In the 2017 civic polls, BJP and Shiv Sena contested separately as they could not agree to the seat-sharing formula. Reportedly, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had threatened to pull out from the BJP government both in Maharashtra as well as the Centre at that juncture.

Thus, the 2017 BMC election became a prestige battle for the Sena and BJP. The results brought in more cheer for BJP than the Sena as the former secured 82 seats, an increase of 51 seats from the previous election. Moreover, the Shiv Sena fell way short of the majority winning just 84 seats. On the other hand, Congress, NCP, and MNS won 31, 7 and 6 seats respectively.

After hectic negotiations, BJP decided not to challenge the Sena on the Mayor’s position. Thus, Shiv Sena's Kishori Pednekar and Suhas Wadkar won the election to the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively on November 22, 2017. While the divide between the two allies continued to grow over the years, the Sena consolidated its position in the BMC when all 6 winning candidates of the MNS joined the party. As the polls were delayed by a few months, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal is functioning as the administrator of the civic body at present. 

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