Land deal with Anvay Naik: BJP’s Kirit Somaiya continues attack; Shiv Sena refutes claims

Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former MP Kirit Somaiya on Thursday continued to raise more questions in connection with purchase of the 9.35-acre land jointly by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s wife Rashmi and Sena leader Ravindra Waikar’s wife Manisha from interior designer Anvay Naik six years ago. Somaiya asked whether the political families had any business relations with Naik, who died by suicide with his mother in 2018. The Maharashtra Police recently reopened the case, leading to the arrest of Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami and two others on charges of abetting the suicide by allegedly not repaying his money.

Rubbishing the claims, Waikar said the facts presented by Somaiya were already shown in his election affidavits and income-tax returns and there was no link between the deal and the reopening of the Naik suicide case. “It is just an attempt to make an issue out of nothing,” he said.

Somaiya, who on Wednesday produced the documents of the deal in nine land parcels, presented copies of 7×12 extracts for 21 plots on Thursday. “The joint deal between Thackerays and Waikars proves they have business relations…There should not be any air of suspicion against the chief minister of Maharashtra and hence they should clarify. Secondly, why did Thackeray not make the deal public while reopening the Anvay Naik suicide case. Most importantly, why was the land deal not mentioned in the probe by Raigad police, when the suicide had relation with the financial crunch Naiks faced,” he asked, adding he was going to reveal more information related to the deal in the coming days.

Also read: BJP demands probe into land deal between Thackerays, Naiks; Shiv Sena rubbishes claims

In his election affidavit filed during Assembly polls in October last year, Waikar had disclosed the ownership in the name of his wife. According to the affidavit, the 9.35-acre land in Kolai village in Murud tehsil in Raigad was purchased on March 21, 2014 for ₹2.18 crore. The land owned with 50% ownership by his wife (and remaining by Rashmi Thackeray) appreciated to ₹4.35 crore in 2019. Although Somaiya has claimed to have furnished 21 land records, the affidavit has the mention of 30 land records. CM Thackeray’s affidavit filed in May this year for the legislative Council elections has similar details about the land owned by Rashmi Thackeray.

A spokesperson for the Thackerays said Sena leader Waikar will speak on the issue.

“Somaiya has been trying to misguide people. Whether nine records are produced or 21, the land size (9.35 acres) remains the same. We did not buy it from 21 sellers, but only from Anvay Naik. Somaiya has no business asking about the relation between Thackerays and us. Uddhavji is our party chief and head of the family and there was nothing wrong in purchasing the land jointly. Anvay had come to me through my secretary for the sale of the land. Neither me nor Thackerays knew him before it and the question of having any business relations does not arise,” he said.

Waikar said they are ready to face any inquiry in the deal and Somaiya was targeting the Sena because they ensured that he did not get a ticket in the Lok Sabha elections last year.

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