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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Kirit Somaiya Deposited Money With BJP, Claims Sanjay Raut

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Mumbai, April 11 (PTI): BJP leader Kirit Somaiya has said that he deposited money collected during the ‘Save INS Vikrant’ initiative with his party and hence, the government will have to decide whether that party should be made a co-accused in the “scam”, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut claimed on Monday.

Interacting with media persons here, Raut said Somaiya and the latter’s son Neil will “definitely go to jail”, but the duo is holding the BJP’s hand “as the two are drowning”.

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Somaiya had denied allegations of “misappropriation” of funds collected to save the decommissioned naval aircraft carrier which was scrapped in November 2014.

Raut demanded the Centre to withdraw security provided to Somaiya if it is feeling “ashamed” over the episode and has affection for soldiers.

The Shiv Sena MP also claimed that Somaiya is hiding “in a BJP-ruled state, either in Gujarat or Goa”.

Raut’s comments come in the wake of senior counsel Ashok Mundargi, appearing for Somaiya, arguing before a court here that the ‘Save Vikrant’ campaign was launched not only by the BJP but also the Congress and the Shiv Sena, who are now allies in the state’s ruling coalition.

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The senior counsel submitted that the campaign to save the decommissioned warship was launched by the political party to which the accused (Somaiya) belongs and hence, what happened with the collected funds was not his client’s concern.

Somaiya and his son managed to collect Rs 11,000 as it was nearly impossible to mobilize Rs 57 crore during the door-to-door campaign, the senior counsel submitted.

“I heard his (Somaiya’s) lawyer say that the money was deposited to his party (BJP). You sought money in the name of saving Vikrant. People gave the money because you said it will be deposited in the Raj Bhavan but you gave it to the party.

“I have been saying that he used the money for the election. He has committed this offence,” Raut alleged.

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The Rajya Sabha MP sought BJP’s explanation on the issue.

“He (Somaiya) is saying now he deposited the money to the party. Were you sleeping for 13 years then? You are saying this now to save your skin when we exposed the matter. Should the BJP also be made an accused in this case along with Somaiya? This government will have to decide,” Raut said.

He said Somaiya’s act was akin to “deshdroh” (treason).

Raut said that the answers to questions like whether the BJP had receipts of the money, what it did with the fund collected and others will be known through a probe.

“But Somaiya has tried to sink the BJP as well. He will drown, but will also sink the BJP. Crooks like these are of nobody,” Raut said.

He charged Somaiya with garnering “hundreds of crores” by “blackmailing and threatening” people.

“There are countless cases of his and all these cases are somewhere related to the BJP,” he alleged.

Raut also said that the BJP will have to give an account of what it did with the money Somaiya allegedly deposited with it.

The Shiv Sena leader said it was “unfortunate” that “a blackmailer” like Somaiya was provided security by the Centre.

“Security of the absconding man, who engaged in a scam involving INS Vikrant, must be withdrawn if the Centre is feeling ashamed and has affection towards our soldiers,” Raut said.

He added that the Centre or Union Home minister Amit Shah himself should pay attention to the matter and find out the “main accused (Somaiya) in the INS Vikrant scam”.

“Somaiya should be arrested and handed over to the Mumbai Police. I know where he is, I will inform the probe agencies,” Raut added.

Raut also tweeted in Hindi saying that the Somaiyas will go to jail and will be lodged in a cell next to that of NCP leaders like Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, who were jailed following actions by central agencies in separate cases.

Earlier in the day, Raut had demanded issuing a lookout notice in the name of the Somaiya senior and his son, contending the duo may flee the country.

The Shiv Sena leader has been accusing Somaiyas of misappropriation of over Rs 57 crore collected in the name of saving the ship.

The Mumbai Police last week registered a case of cheating against the Somaiyas based on a complaint lodged by a former Army personnel.

On Monday, a court in Mumbai rejected the anticipatory bail application of Kirit Somaiya in the case.

The court is likely to pass an order on Neil Somaiya’s anticipatory bail application (ABA) on Tuesday.

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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