The Maha Vikas Aghadi allies have demanded a probe, while an activist-lawyer has moved the Bombay High Court for an FIR into the alleged 'cash payment' of Rs 10 crore purportedly made by the faction of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for buses to ferry crowds for his Dussehra rally in Mumbai on October 5.
Senior Shiv Sena leader Ambadas Danve has written to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) demanding details of the expenditure for hiring over 1,800 buses for the rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex.
Congress chief spokesperson Atul Londe contended that the MSRTC staff took two days to count the Rs 10 crore and asked from where did the Shinde group get this large sum of cash.
Sena MP Arvind Sawant has called for a probe by the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation into the cash payment made for the state transport buses.
Nationalist Congress Party chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase has said that since this booking was akin to "a bulk client", why digital or online payment was not taken, as propounded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"If cash payment was indeed made for such a huge amount, then where's the bill and in whose name it was issued," Tapase asked.
A Mumbai lawyer, Nitin Satpute, filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court on Friday seeking directions for an FIR against Shinde and others under the provisions of PMLA and Income Tax laws for the 'unknown source' of the Rs 10 crore funding for the Dussehra rally.
Londhe also questioned the source of the funds and who gave the amount in cash for the rally.
"Can such a huge cash transaction be carried out? Isn't this a form of money-laundering? Was the amount paid from the Shinde group Shiv Sena's accounts when its not even been officially recognised yet," Londhe asked.
He said if the ED and other agencies could throw NCP leader Anil Deshmukh and Sena MP Sanjay Raut into jail for alleged money-laundering of lesser amounts, this (rally) matter and all related expenses must also be investigated thorougly.
Sawant said not only the Shinde group, but the MSRTC staffers who handled the cash and whether they deposited it in a bank must also be probed.
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