Two persons, including a woman, were arrested for allegedly demanding Rs 10 crore from a local BJP corporator to help him make an MLC, police said today.
Acting on a complaint filed by BJP corporator Manohar Dumbre, a trap was laid at a hotel here yesterday and the duo arrested, police said.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Makarand Ranade gave the names of the accused as Anud Shirgaon Kar (29) and Anil Bhanushali (31), residents of Kalyan and Navi Mumbai, respectively.
A search is on for the third accused in the case, Abdulla Ansari, said police. According to Dumbre, he received a phone call from the duo on March 4 stating they can help him become a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council if he paid Rs 10 crore.
The two claimed they were well connected in political circles and can arrange a meeting between him and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the corporator said in his complaint. Dumbre said as he suspected the credentials of the callers.
He said he first discussed the issue with his friends and then contacted the chief minister.
After getting convinced the two were out to cheat him and were just indulging in influence peddling, Dumbre lodged a complaint and the two were arrested when they came to meet him and collect an advance of Rs 25 lakh, police said.
Biennial elections to 21 Legislative Council seats in the state are due later this year.
The duo had told Dumbre that nominations for MLC polls would happen in June/July and he was required to pay an advance of Rs 25 lakh now and Rs 4.75 crore before swearing-in.
The balance Rs 5 crore was to be paid after swearing-in, police said. On March 19, the woman (Anud) asked Dumbre to submit his bio-data and also made him speak to a man posing as the chief minister, they said. The man was later identified as Ansari, who is on the run, police added.
The duo has been booked under IPC sections related to cheating, cheating by personation and criminal conspiracy, among others, they added.