The lone Maharashtra Navnirman Sena corporator in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation alleged on Friday he was “indirectly offered money” to switch to Shiv Sena. He also demanded a probe by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) into the recent defection by six MNS corporators.
However, Dilip Lande, who was among the six corporators who left the MNS, rejected the charge levelled by Sanjay Turde and said they were ready for a probe. He also threatened to sue Turde, who made the allegation in a letter written to the ACB on October 18, nearly a week after six of the seven corporators of the Raj Thackeray-led MNS joined the Shiv Sena.
Turde said one of the then MNS corporators approached him on October 12 and “indirectly offered money” to switch sides and promised that such a move would boost his political career. “On the sidelines of a ward council meeting on October 12, Dilip Lande called me and enquired whether I would want to join the Shiv Sena. He told me that six corporators have decided to join and if I do so, then I would never fall short of money, besides it will give a boost to my political career,” Turde alleged in the letter.
“I suspect that in this process there must have been illegal financial transactions involving huge amounts. Therefore, I request that an investigation be conducted into it,” the corporator from Ward number 166 in Kurla said.
Lande said Turde was contradicting his own statement. “A few days back, Turde told reporters that he was not offered any money. I too request the ACB or any other agency to conduct a probe and when I come clean, I will sue him for defaming me and my party,” Lande said. On October 15, MNS chief Raj Thackeray alleged the Uddhav Thackeray-led party played “dirty politics of money” by paying Rs 5 crore to each of the corporators who switched sides.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said on Friday he would meet officials of the ACB and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and seek an investigation into the alleged “bribe case”. Jai Ho Foundation, a city-based NGO, had earlier written to the Maharashtra Lokayukta demanding a probe into the matter.