A certain section of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken to social media to oppose an Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader joining them. Messages are being circulated on WhatsApp, opposing the entry of MNS’s Pravin Darekar to the party on the grounds of Darekar’s alleged involvement in corruption.
Pravin Darekar says he has taken action against those involved in the bank scam, and that the relatives of the fraudsters are circulating these messages. File pic
Darekar, once an MNS strongman and a former MLA of Magathane, is on his way to joining the BJP. But the latter party’s secretary, and various other leaders, have taken umbrage to his inclusion into their fold, and are circulating a message alluding to the alleged corruption involving Darekar. Though the message doesn’t mention the MNS man’s name, it does all but (see box).
Vivekanand Gupta, BJP’s party secretary who is sending the message, said, “People who are involved in bank fraud worth crores of rupees shouldn’t be allowed in our party. When the chief minister has sanctioned an inquiry into each and every corrupt person, how can we allow someone against whom his own party men have registered cases with the police?”
Gupta referred to the financial irregularities in which the Mumbai District Central Co-Op Bank is embroiled; Darekar is the chairman of the bank. The city police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) is investigating the alleged fraud and even arrested three people in connection with the case. Gupta claims he has gone to the EOW with the cases against Darekar and others.
The other side
Darekar, on the other hand, claims he is being targeted because he has taken action against many people involved in the bank fraud. Calling the messages an attempt to malign him, he stated he has answered allegations levelled against him, and that the ministers are satisfied with his replies.
Said the leader, “Today I am an MNS worker; I have only resigned from the post of general secretary. I haven’t decided which party to go to. The people who are opposing me aren’t new; this has been going on for a year now.
We have registered cases of fraud against many on behalf of the Mumbai Co-operative Bank and the people who are now trying to defame me are the ones related to the fraudsters. I am ready for any investigation in any forum.”