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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Shiv Sena “rebel” who changed mind given ACB notice

Balapur (Akola) MLA Nitin Deshmukh has been served the ACB notice, making him the third MLA in the past two months to get such notices.

MUMBAI:

Pressure further mounted on the Shiv Sena-UBT after an MLA – who had “rebelled” in June last year and then changed his mind in Guwahati – has been slapped with an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) notice, party leaders said here on Tuesday.

Balapur (Akola) MLA Nitin Deshmukh has been served the ACB notice, making him the third MLA in the past two months to get such notices for allegations pertaining to holding disproportionate assets.

The Sena-UBT has again cried foul at the hounding of its legislators by various probe agencies by the government.

In recent months, two of its MLAs – Vaibhav Naik from Kudal (Sindhudurg) and Rajan Salvi from Rajapur (Ratnagiri) – had received ACB notices in October and December 2022, respectively.

After going to Gujarat and Guwahati with the rebel camp led by Eknath Shinde – now the Chief Minister – Deshmukh had mysteriously resurfaced in Mumbai and rejoined the faction led by Uddhav Thackeray.

The party had wholeheartedly rejoiced, showered praises on him and he was felicitated by both Thackeray and son Aditya Thackeray later.

Unfazed after getting the ACB notice, Deshmukh said that “attempts are being made to implicate me”, and he would report to the probe agency on January 17 in Amravati to record his statement.

He said that around a fortnight back, Shinde’s Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (BSS) MP Bhavna Gawli had filed a case against him after which the ACB Amravati notice was received.

Deshmukh pointed out that the ACB notice is vague, with no mention of the complainant’s name, the nature of the complaint and he would not be scared even if central agencies send him a notice as he has no illegal properties.

The Sena MLA said that after going to the ACB Amravati office, he would hold a media conference and expose the conspiracy against him.

At the height of the rebellion drama in June, Deshmukh had alleged that he was “kidnapped”, whisked off to Surat and then to Guwahati where attempts were made to subject him to some “medical procedure” but he managed to escape.

Dismissing his accusations, the Shinde camp had then countered by saying that nobody was taken there forcibly and they had arranged a private jet for him to return. IANS

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