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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Aaditya Thackerays close aide Suraj Chavan arrested by ED in khichdi scam

Mumbai: Aaditya Thackeray's close aide Suraj Chavan arrested by ED in ‘khichdi' scam

Updated on: 17 January,2024 10:00 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Faizan Khan | faizan.khan@mid-day.com

The ED arrested Suraj Chavan, a close aide of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aditya Thackeray, in connection with the 6.37 crore Khichdi scam, sources said

Mumbai: Aaditya Thackeray's close aide Suraj Chavan arrested by ED in ‘khichdi' scam

Suraj Chavan. File Pic

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday arrested Suraj Chavan, a close aide of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aditya Thackeray, in connection with the 6.37 crore Khichdi scam, sources said.


The ED had initiated a money laundering case based on the FIR filed by Mumbai Economic Offense Wing (EOW). After months of investigation, the EOW and the ED recorded Chavan’s statement multiple times, leading to his arrest. 


In September last year, the EOW initiated an FIR against six individuals for alleged misappropriation of R6.37 crore and financial irregularities related to BMC's contract for distributing khichdi to migrant workers during the pandemic. The FIR, registered at the Agripada police station, names Sujit Patkar, a close associate of Sanjay Raut; Sunil alias Bala Kadam; Rajeev Salunkhe of Sahyadri Refreshments; employees of Force One Multi Services; Sneha Caterer’s partners; and an assistant municipal commissioner (planning), along with other unidentified BMC officials.


According to the FIR, the contract was intended for a company equipped with the necessary kitchens and certifications from health and related departments to prepare khichdi for 5,000 people daily. However, the contracts were awarded to Sahyadri Refreshments and Vaishnavi Kitchen, neither of which possessed these requirements, and they subsequently subcontracted the work. Similarly, Force One lacked the necessary kitchen facilities and subcontracted the production of khichdi. The FIR also suggests that, as per the contract, each packet of khichdi was supposed to weigh 300 grams, but the accused parties provided packets weighing only 100-200 grams to migrant workers.

As per the sources, in EOW, During the pandemic, Chavan's income saw a 400 per cent increase in April 2020 while working as a consultant for Force One Multi Services. Earlier, he earned just Rs 75,000 per month, but during the peak of the pandemic, the figure increased to R3 lakh as Khichdi consultation. 

According to sources, Chavan was tasked with administrative work and using political connections to secure contracts during the pandemic. They also indicated that, in addition to Chavan, Patkar received Rs 46 lakh from Sahyadri Refreshments as consultancy fees for khichdi production, deposited into his firm's account. Another individual under scrutiny in this case is Amol Kirtikar, who is associated with Shiv Sena (UBT), and the son of Lok Sabha member Gajanan Kirtikar, who’s affiliated with the Shiv Sena (Shinde faction). The EOW has uncovered that Amol assisted Force One Multi Services in obtaining contracts and received approximately R85 lakh, which is currently under investigation.

Chavan will be produced before the ED court on Thursday for his custodial interrogation. The ED sources have said that during the course of investigation and his stamens chavan failed to provide satisfactory response and hence he has been arrested for custodial interrogation.

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