The prima facie illegal arrest of senior journalist and Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami by the Maharashtra police in a two-year-old abetment to suicide case was aimed at brazen intimidation, but as it now turns out, the top leadership of the Maharashtra government finds itself embroiled in the fiasco as well. Only recently, former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya had made a startling revelation, alleging that there have been irregular real estate/land dealings between the wife of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena leader Ravindra Waikar’s wife with late Anvay Naik. Anvay Naik, in his suicide note dating back to 2018, had named Arnab Goswami for allegedly not repaying the amount which was owed to Naik’s firm, causing him financial distress.
As fate would have it, with the brazen arrest of Goswami in a case which was closed by the police last year, and which was reopened last month without requisite court permissions, a pandora’s box linking the Thackeray’s and Shiv Sena to Anvay Naik has been opened. As such, while the Maha Vikas Aghadi government might have thought that Naik’s suicide can be used to incarcerate Arnab Goswami, the same is now proving to be an unmitigated political catastrophe for the Thackerays.
Releasing documents last week, Somaiya had alleged that the said land records of Murud Raigad on the Maharashtra Government Website of Land Records suggested that Uddhav Thackeray’s wife had a land transaction with late Anvay Naik’s family. “We also release details and land records 7/12 of Smt. Rashmi Uddhav Thackeray, transactions with Anvay Naik’s family, (which) we requested Uddhav Thackeray to give some details about,” Kirit Somaiya said while bringing the shocking documents into the public domain.
The former MP also revealed that Rashmi Uddhav Thackeray has two properties at Village Vaijnath, Taluka Karjat, District Raigad with same survey number as mentioned in the affidavit. “We would like to request CM Uddhav Thackeray to clarify about the same landholding serial numbers, survey numbers given in point 2A and in point 2B. Whether two different land parcels with the same survey number were available/bought? Is Smt Thackeray having some other land holding, the details of which couldn’t be made available to people of Maharashtra in Point number B of the affidavit,” Somaiya asked.
Smt Rashmi Uddhav Thackeray & Manisha Ravindra Vaykar jointly bought several pieces of land at Korlai, Murud Raigad from Late Anvay Naik, Smt Akshta Naik..in March 2014 at ₹2.20 Crores. The reason to target #ArnabGoswamy ??
— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) November 11, 2020
Released 9 more 7/12 Land Transactions Records between Rashmi Uddhav Thackeray & Anvay Naik Family. Total 30 transactions
मी आज, रश्मी उद्धव ठाकरे आणि अन्वय नाईक कुटुंबातील 9 आणखी 7/12 जमीन व्यवहार रेकॉर्ड जाहीर केले एकूण 30 व्यवहार ,@BJP4Maharashtra @Dev_Fadnavis @ChDadaPatil pic.twitter.com/ejq4aIeQUY
— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) November 13, 2020
In fact, Reshmi Thackeray is not alone whose dealings with Anvay Naik have been brought under question. Although unrelated, Uddhav’s son and Maharashtra cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray has been accused of holding offices of profit despite having been sworn in as a minister with the MVA government. According to an election affidavit, Aaditya Thackeray had been owner and designated partner of M/s Hibiscus Food LLP. He had resigned from this company on 31 March 2020, long after having been sworn in as minister. Similarly, he became a partner in Eliora Solar LLP on 26 April 2016, and resigned from this company on 31 March 2020. Despite being appointed to the Maharashtra cabinet in late November 2019, if such claims of him resigning only in March this year are indeed true, it would amount to violation of office of profit rules.
Needless to say, such details coming out in the public domain have only been triggered by the arrest and shameful handling of senior journalist Arnab Goswami by the Maharashtra police, allegedly on the order of the state’s Home Minister. Karma has come back to bite the Thackerays pretty soon, and their alleged shoddy dealings with Anvay Naik are not going to fade away from public memory anytime soon.