The Mumbai Police on Thursday filed a closure report in a case filed against Lok Sabha MP Ravindra Waikar for alleged irregularities in the construction of a hotel, nearly four months after he joined the faction of the Shiv Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, The Indian Express reported on Saturday.

The police’s Economic Offences Wing said that the case was based on “incomplete information and misunderstanding”.

Waikar, who was earlier part of former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s faction of the Shiv Sena, joined Shinde’s group on March 10.

The chief minister’s faction is part of the National Democratic Alliance in the state, which also comprises the Bharatiya Janata Party and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party faction.

In the recent Lok Sabha election, Waikar won the Mumbai North-West seat by defeating Amol Kirtikar of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) on June 4. This was the closest contest in election. His victory has been contested in court for alleged irregularities.

The case against Waikar filed by the Economic Offences Wing pertained to the construction of a hotel in the city’s Jogeshwari area in violation of an agreement with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

The Lok Sabha MP was booked for criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy based on a complaint filed by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation sub-engineer Santosh Mandavkar, PTI reported. Waikar’s wife, Manisha, and his four associates – Aasoo Nehlanai, Raj Lalchandani, Prithpal Bindra and Arun Dubey – were also booked.

The case, which was initially filed at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan police station, was subsequently transferred to the Economic Offences Wing, The Indian Express reported.

As per the first information report, Waikar had entered into an agreement with the municipal corporation after receiving permission to run a sports facility in Jogeshwari.

The Lok Sabha MP was granted the permission when the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government was in power in Maharashtra. The coalition comprises the Congress, the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar).

In early 2023, after the Shinde-led Shiv Sena came to power in the state, Waikar was issued a notice for using the plot of land, which was reserved for a public garden, to construct a hotel, PTI reported.

In June 2023, the municipal corporation said that it had cancelled the permission that it had initially granted to Waikar to construct the hotel. Following this, the Enforcement Directorate in October filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act based on the first information report filed by the Economic Offences Wing.

However, days ahead of Waikar joining Shinde’s faction in March, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that it was reconsidering its cancellation of the permission granted to him to construct the hotel, The Indian Express reported.

Responding to the case being closed, Congress leader Sachin Sawant on social media alleged that it was another example of “political blackmail” that has been going on in Maharashtra for the past ten years.

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut claimed that Waikar “ran away and left us [Thackeray’s faction] after getting scared of the probe agencies”, PTI reported.

He added: “Now he has got a clean chit. What else can you expect? BJP should accept that it filed false cases to scare the opponents.”

In March, the Central Bureau of Investigation closed a 2017 case involving Rajya Sabha MP Praful Patel about alleged irregularities in leasing aircraft for Air India.

This came eight months after Patel, along with several other senior leaders, joined the Nationalist Congress Party faction headed by Ajit Pawar.