Income Tax sleuths question NCP minister over lavish weddings

Officials of the Income Tax Department came knocking on the doors of Minister of State for Urban Development Bhaskar Jadhav on Monday after the minister planned a wedding for his children, in which over 40,000 people were invited.

The I-T officials also reportedly questioned Karad-based Shah Constructions and owners of the land in Chiplun on which a massive stage was built for the wedding.

Shah Constructions had reportedly financed the construction of the five-lakh sq ft pandal and the food that was prepared in the wedding. Jadhav however stated that he had given a contract to Shah Constructions who also own a catering business.

The department has recorded a statement of Jadhav on Monday after quizzing him about the sources of funds for the wedding. It also questioned Shah Constructions' Lalchand Shah in Karad to know how much money was paid for the catering contract. Nihar Joshi and Salim Pilpile who own the land on which the wedding took place where also questioned.

Jadhav had come under mounting criticism for his ostentatious display of wealth and using the services of Shah Construction who have taken up construction contracts for the State irrigation department.

The minister meanwhile has said that no irrigation contractor was given a contract for the wedding. "I have never given any contract to any irrigation contractor. I have only given a catering contract. If authorities can point out any wrongdoing on my behalf I will not wait for any one to call for my resignation and I am willing to quit politics," Jadhav said.

Since February is considered auspicious for weddings in the Hindu calendar, a slew of Maharashtra's politicians had planned weddings in their family.

Many of the weddings planned by Maharashtra's politicians have been criticised for the ostentatious display of wealth at a time when the state is facing acute drought.

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