MUMBAI, Feb 21 (agencies): Raosaheb Shekhawat, son of President Pratibha Patil and a Congress MLA, was on Tuesday questioned by the Amravati Police in connection with the seizure of Rs one crore unaccounted cash here before last week’s civic polls.
Shekhawat was questioned at the Police Commissioner’s office after he reached there accompanied by Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Ganesh Patil and a battery of lawyers.
“We have questioned the source and destination of the funds seized, to which Shekhawat has reiterated that it was party fund,” Amravati Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar told reporters after Mr. Shekawat’s statement was recorded.
“We are verifying and investigating the source and destination of funds seized and cross checking every angle,” Kumar said, refusing to elaborate as the investigations are in a “critical” stage.
Cash worth Rs one crore, which was being transported into the city from Nagpur in a car and meant to be used during the civic polls, was seized in the early hours of February 12 and two persons were arrested in the case.
After his questioning, Shekhawat told reporters that a “communication gap” between him and the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee led to the seizure of Rs 1 crore in cash by the local police.
“There was a communication gap and MPCC could not inform me how and when the fund was dispatched and I came to know only when the Amravati Police seized the vehicle and recovered cash to the tune of Rs one crore,” he said.
Shekhawat said that as per the requirement, he has furnished to the police details of transactions of Rs one crore sent by the MPCC with all relevant documents and break-up of disbursements.
The MLA told the police that Rs 87 lakh was meant to be disbursed to 87 Congress candidates and the remaining amount was to be spent by the Amravati city party unit.
However, denying allegations that the seized cash was unaccounted, Shekhawat had claimed that the money was meant for distribution among financially weak candidates for the local municipal elections held on February 16.
Following the seizure, the Election Commission had directed the District Collector and Municipal Commissioner to file a report about the incident. The Collector had also issued a notice to Shekhawat and others in the case.