A war of words has ensued between BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and embattled Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik after the former alleged irregularities in the housing projects undertaken by the Sena MLA’s Vihang Group. It is pertinent to note that Pratap Sarnaik is current under ED investigation and only a few days ago, Pakistani credit cards were found in his possession.
On Friday, Sarnaik sent a notice to Somaiya, asking him to prove the allegations levelled by him or publicly apologise to him in the next 15 days, failing which Sarnaik will file a Rs 100 crores defamation suit against the former MP. The notice further added the allegations made by Somaiya were ‘infantile’ and were made with the express purpose of reviving his political career.
Somaiya alleges cheating, Sarnaik refutes allegations
Somaiya on Wednesday convened a press conference in which he accused Sarnaik of cheating middle-class home buyers, alleging that the building constructed in Thane by Sarnaik’s Vihang group does not have permissions to increase its floors from nine to 13 and that the Thane Municipal Corporation has given orders to demolish the structure. He also added that the construction at Thane’s Vihang Garden by Sarnaik’s Group is illegal.
“TMC Declared Both Buildings illegal. In 2012, Thane Municipal Corporation ordered the demolition of 9 to 13 floors. However, no action has been taken till now. OC is not received till date,” he added.
Sarnaik had then rubbished the allegations, accusing the BJP leader of dredging up old issues that were already resolved with the municipal corporation.
“Kirit Somaiya is trying to tarnish my reputation using a 10-year-old issue. Although the work of the OC has been delayed, the FSI has not been violated in the project. We had explained that we have constructed a civic school in exchange of the transferable development rights (TDR). The notice was then taken back,” said Sarnaik, adding Somaiya will have to either apologise or face a defamation suit.
On the other hand, unfazed by Sarnaik’s threat of slapping a Rs 100 crore defamation lawsuit, Somaiya said, “I will welcome Pratap Sarnaik’s notice of defamation.”
Two weeks back, Somaiya had asked why Sarnaik and family were running away from the ED investigation of Rs 175 Crore related to MMRDA and TOP Securities Fraud.
Pratap Sarnaik moves privilege motion against media outlets for reporting recovery of Pakistani credit card from his residence
Meanwhile, Sarnaik has also sent a letter to the state legislature secretariat seeking admission of his breach of privilege notice against print and electronic media outlets for defaming him by publishing stories based on a tweet of actor Kangana Ranaut. The letter was in response to news reports of a Pakistani credit card being recovered by the ED from Sarnaik’s residence.
Earlier last week, news reports claimed that a credit card registered under the name of a Pakistani national is recovered from the premises of the Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik. It was also reported that the Pakistani credit card was registered on the address of the Shiv Sena MLA.