Mumbai’s ex-Mayor Kishori Pednekar set to appear before ED on Thursday

Mumbai, Jan 24 (IANS): A senior Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and former Mayor of Mumbai has been summoned on Thursday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for a probe into the alleged money-laundering scam arising out of the purchase of body-bags by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the relevant time, Pednekar, 61, was the high-profile Mayor of Mumbai, a trained nurse, who led the war against Covid-19 from the front, while the Chief Minister was Uddhav Thackeray, heading the Maha Vikas Aghadi regime till it was ousted in June 2022.

Following a complaint by BJP ex-MP Kirit Somaiya, the Mumbai Police had booked Pednekar and two other BMC officials of the Central Purchase Department for their involvement into the alleged scam, and the ED later entered to probe the money laundering part of the fraud.

The ED has contended that there was massive inflation in the rates of body-bags to carry dead Covid-19 victims, while the company supplied it for around Rs 2,000 apiece to its distributors, it was giving the same bags to the BMC for around Rs 6,800 per piece.

The ED -- which launched investigation in the money-laundering case in September 2023 -- had summoned and grilled her for over six hours in November, amid contentions that the contract for purchase of the body bags was allegedly given at Pednekar’s behest.

A staunch Thackeray family loyalist and a grassroots Shiv Sainik, Pednekar proved her mettle as a good administrator during the Covid-19 pandemic, with Dharavi proving to be a major success for the BMC earning global accolades.

A four-time BMC Corporator from Worli, she was visible in streets, slums, skyscrapers and bylanes of Mumbai, also boarded local trains and inspected railway stations, to reassure the people during those harrowing days.

On several occasions, Pednekar donned her nurse’ uniform and went around public and private hospitals to boost the confidence and morale of health care workers as well as nursing students.




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Title: Mumbai’s ex-Mayor Kishori Pednekar set to appear before ED on Thursday

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