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Land aside, water resources minister has 150 firms: Jayant Patil

Sunil Tatkare has amassed disproportionate properties worth thousands of crores by floating more than 150 companies and purchasing thousands of acres of agricultural land, alleged Peasants and Workers Party MLA.

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State water resources minister Sunil Tatkare has amassed disproportionate properties worth thousands of crores by floating more than 150 companies and purchasing thousands of acres of agricultural land across the state, alleged Peasants and Workers Party MLA Jayant Patil.

The balance-sheets of Tatkare’s companies have increased after he took charge of the department in 2009, Patil told reporters on Thursday. He also demanded a probe into the issue.

Tatkare described the allegations as baseless and politically motivated. The Nationalist Congress Party minister said that he is consulting his legal advisors and will take appropriate action against Patil.

But Patil claimed: “I had engaged nearly 20 chartered accountants and had been digging the details of the disproportionate properties owned by Tatkare. His son Aniket owns at least 25 companies, his daughter owns 13, daughter-in-law 15, his chartered accountants heads 33 firms and even his gardener owns 13 companies. The gardener’s son Keshav Kiran Sarange, who is only 19 years old, owns nine companies.” 

Keshav is only 19 years old, and according to the law, the minimum age to head a company is 21, he added.

Patil further claimed that though the registration of a company takes more than two years, all the firms related to Tatkare were registered in just a couple of hours.

Moreover, all the firms were registered on Tatkare’s three addresses, proving that they are related to the minister. “A company named Vinamra had a total balance of Rs3,600 crore of which a huge chunk was transferred to a company headed by his son,” Patil claimed. 

The PWD legislator also pointed out that the maximum permissible holding of the agriculture land is 54 acres under the Land Ceiling Act, but Tatkare has purchased acres of agricultural land in Raigad, Murbad, Dapoli and Tasgoan in Sangli.

Tatkare reportedly has bought more than 7,500 acre of agricultural land in Raigad and 699 acres in Dapoli.

Patil alleged that the minister has committed many violations under various Acts, including the Money Laundering and Income Tax Act. “Farmers and land holders in Tatkare’s constituency were threatened to sell their land at throwaway prices.”

Calling it a scam larger than that orchestrated by A Raja, prime accused in the prime accused in the 2G scam, Patil said in spite of numerous complaints made to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and the revenue department, no action was taken against Tatkare.

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