Mumbai News: 'No Khichdi Scam But Social Work,' Says Sanjay Raut's Brother Sandeep After ED Grilling

Mumbai News: 'No Khichdi Scam But Social Work,' Says Sanjay Raut's Brother Sandeep After ED Grilling

Asserts that one of the accused, Rajeev Salunkhe, transferred ₹5-6 lakh despite his denial.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 10:15 PM IST
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Sanjay Raut's brother Sandeep Raut outside ED office | Salman Ansari

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned Sandeep Raut, brother of Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut, for more than seven hours on Tuesday in connection with the ₹6.37 crore khichdi scam. Sandeep is accused of receiving whopping funds from the firms accused of the fraud.

Sanjay left after dropping off his brother at the ED office. Responding to media queries about his 'link' with the scam, while leaving after the questioning, a rattled Sandeep asserted, “It's not a scam. The money received from Rajeev Salunkhe (related to the accused firm) was transferred to the accounts of labourers.”

Salman Ansari

Sandeep Raut pins blame on Salunkhe

He averred that Salunkhe had approached him seeking help. “Since I had resources, I willingly extended my support. This was purely a humanitarian gesture. Salunkhe utilised my premises, transportation vehicles, labour and other belongings,” said Sandeep. With regards to the suspicious transaction of ₹5-6 lakh from Salunkhe to his and his family members' accounts, he averred, “I wasn't even taking that money for the social work, but Salunkhe still transferred funds to my account. With that money, I paid the labourers.”

According to the ED, Sandeep derived illegal benefits as Sahyadri Refreshment (one of the contractual firms) diverted a portion of the payment received from the BMC into the accounts of MP’s family members, including his brother. Sanjay's close aide, Sujit Patkar, is already an accused in the case. The central agency has also arrested Yuva Sena leader Suraj Chavan in the scam, alleging that he helped Force One Multi Services secure the contract, with his proximity to a senior politician and a BMC official in lieu of ₹1.35 crore.

Salman Ansari

ED Investigation On Khichdi Scam

The ED investigation stems from the FIR filed by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) in September 2023. According to the EOW probe, the BMC awarded contracts to community kitchens for supplying food to migrant workers during Covid. Despite 'lacking its own kitchen facility and proper documentation', Vaishnavi Kitchen bagged the contract, alleged the EOW.

It further said that the firm provided documents under the name of Sahyadri Refreshment and secured the contract at ₹33 per 300 gram packet of khichdi. Beneficiaries Bala Kadam and Salunkhe sub-contracted the work to Force One Multi Services and later FNJ Enterprises Pvt Ltd. They were asked to produce khichdi packets at ₹22 and ₹24 per packet, respectively. However, the BMC was supplied the meal at the rate of Rs33 plus GST per packet.

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