States

I-T officials raid residence, sugar mill of NCP leader Hasan Mushrif in Kolhapur

Legal matter: A policeman stands guard outside NCP leader Hasan Mushrif's son’s residence in Pune, where I-T officials conducted searches on Thursday.

Legal matter: A policeman stands guard outside NCP leader Hasan Mushrif's son’s residence in Pune, where I-T officials conducted searches on Thursday.  

Speculation rife that his alleged refusal to join BJP invites I-T department action

A team of Income Tax (I-T) officials on Thursday raided the residence and sugar factory of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Kagal MLA Hasan Mushrif in Kolhapur district.

Mr. Mushrif, a former minister who held the Labour portfolio in the erstwhile Congress-NCP government, is considered to be a tall leader of his party in the State’s sugar belt.

According to sources, the I-T team swooped down on Mr. Mushrif’s bungalow in Kagal around 5.30 a.m., while simultaneous raids took place at his son’s residence in Pune and his relative’s home at Takala in Kolhapur.

Searches were also conducted at Sar Senapati Santaji Ghorpade Sugar Factory in Kagal, which is said to be controlled by Mr. Mushrif, among other places.

However, officials declined to elaborate on the reason for the raids.

A number of the NCP leader’s loyalists gathered outside his house to express solidarity as news of the raids broke in Kagal. A security shield was in place as the I-T officials conducted their searches and scrutinised documents at Mr. Mushrif’s home and sugar factory.

The raids coincide with the exit of NCP leader Sachin Ahir, who jettisoned his position as his party’s Mumbai unit chief to enter the Shiv Sena, allegedly impressed with Aaditya Thackeray’s leadership.

The timing of the raid on Mr. Mushrif’s home has triggered speculation that the NCP leader’s alleged refusal to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prompted the BJP to unleash the I-T department on him.

“Recently, at a public function in Kolhapur, newly appointed BJP State president Chandrakant Patil had made an open offer to Mr. Mushrif to ally with the BJP. But the NCP leader had snubbed Mr. Patil and instead questioned as to how, and from where, was the BJP able to secure enormous funds to ‘buy’ Congress legislators in Karnataka and destabilise the Congress-JD (S) government,” an analyst, who requested anonymity, said.

The raid on Mr. Mushrif’s home also comes amid speculation of another NCP MLA, Vaibhav Pichad from Akole in Ahmednagar district, joining the BJP.

Mr. Pichad, the son of senior NCP MLA Madhukar Pichad, is believed to have met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the latter’s home Varsha in Mumbai on Wednesday evening.

The developments take place a week after Mr. Patil had claimed that several legislators from the NCP and the Congress were in contact with the BJP. Mr. Patil had also said that the opposition camp would witness a spate of resignations in the coming week.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 3:34:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/states/i-t-officials-raid-residence-sugar-mill-of-ncp-leader-hasan-mushrif-in-kolhapur/article28714759.ece

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