Mumbai, July 20: In a bizarre instance, the Mumbai Police have arrested four persons for allegedly offering a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Pune a “cabinet berth” for Rs 100 crore, officials said here.
The Mumbai Police’s Anti Extortion Cell swung into action after the BJP MLA from Daund constituency, Rahul Kul lodged a complaint last week. Conmen Made $1.3 Billion Via Romance Scams in 5 Years, Cryptocurrency Biggest Lure
According to police, on July 16, Kul’s aide Balakrishna Thorat received a call from one Riyaz Shaikh of Delhi, seeking to meet the MLA with a lucrative offer.
Later, the MLA met Shaikh in a five-star hotel in south Mumbai where the latter claimed to be in contact with some top politicians.
He claimed to Kul that he could arrange a plum ‘cabinet berth’ in the Maharashtra government supported by BJP for Rs 100 crore and then bargained till Rs 90 crore.
The legislator pretended to accept the deal and later lodged a police complaint, with the AEC swinging into the probe and laying a trap for the cheats who arrived at the deluxe hotel on Monday afternoon.
The police succeeded in arresting four persons – Shaikh of Kolhapur, Zafar Ahmed Usman and Sagar Sangwai, both of Mumbai and Yogesh Kulkarni of Thane – the district which Chief Minister Eknath Shinde hails from.
At the meeting, Kul, his aide and another party MLA were present to discuss the alleged ‘deal’ with Shaikh who was picked up from the spot.
During his questioning, Shaikh revealed the involvement of Kulkarni and Sangwai, who were nabbed late on Monday, followed by Usmani’s arrest on Tuesday.
The foursome has been sent to police custody and the sleuths are now probing whether the accused have cheated or ‘sold’ ministerial posts to any other legislators.
The development comes as CM Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis hope to expand their ministry after they were sworn-in on June 30.
As per political sources, over a 100 legislators from BJP and Shinde’s group are clamouring to be accommodated in the ministry with at least 75 vying for cabinet rank posts, and the rest angling for Ministers of State.
(The above story first appeared on Fresh Headline on Jul 20, 2022 01:37 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website freshheadline.com).