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Feb 19, 2013 at 07:27pm IST

Maharashtra: I-T dept probes source of wedding extravaganza by NCP minister Bhaskar Jadhav

Mumbai: The Income Tax officials have begun conducting inquiries and raids into a multi-crore wedding extravaganza organised by Maharashtra Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) minister Bhaskar Jadhav for this son and daughter last week in Ratnagiri.

The action by the Income Tax department has come after Jadhav was pulled up by his own party chief Sharad Pawar for spending lavishly, even as the state faces a severe drought.

Maharashtra's worst drought in four decades clearly had no impact on state the NCP minister's wedding extravaganza for his son and daughter. As many as three I-T teams from Mumbai and Pune conducted inquiries at Jadhav's residence in Chiplun, Ratnagiri, as to the source of his funds for the wedding, and also raided the home and office of owners of the Shah Construction Company in Karad and Satara. Jadhav claimed the Shah Company had organised the wedding catering at its own cost, out of gratitude for his support.

Attended by over 50,000 people, with lavish sets, five helipads and almost the entire state Cabinet, the wedding has raised many an eyebrow, with NCP chief Sharad Pawar declaring Jadhav unfit for public life for being insensitive to the state's ground realities.

The opposition too has trained its guns on Jadhav, demanding a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into his alleged disproportionate assets.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national secretary Kirit Somaiya said, "The BJP wants to know why he is not being asked to resign. Most of his wealth has come through corruption."

Jadhav's wedding extravaganza in a time of severe drought in the state has struck a jarring note. The I-T department is already probing him, but the question is will the party take any real action against the minister, to set an example to other big spenders ruling the state?