Sena renames ED office as BJP headquarters
Shiv Sena members put up a poster outside the ED office calling it BJP state headquarters.
On Monday, members of Shiv Sena put up a poster outside the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office calling it the state headquarters of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Mumbai police had to step in to resolve the matter.
According to Times Now, the action was in response to the ED’s decision of summoning Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP and Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha for questioning in connection with the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank money laundering case. According to sources, the ED is investigating alleged transactions between Varsha Raut and Pravin Raut, who is under arrest in the PMC case.
For a long time now, the BJP has been using central agencies like the Income Tax Department, ED and CBI to target leaders of the non-BJP ruled states, the Shiv Sena has alleged. Speaking about the diminishing importance of these agencies, Raut told the media yesterday, “Earlier, when this agency took any action, it seemed that there was something serious. But for the last few years, it seems action from this agency happens when a political party is taking out anger.”
घमासान! ईडी कार्यालयाबाहेर शिवसैनिकांनी लावला भाजपा कार्यालयाचा बॅनर pic.twitter.com/dAM8QQ9Hbo— Lokmat (@MiLOKMAT) December 28, 2020
In a press conference held on Monday, Raut stated that in the last one year, Sharad Pawar, Eknath Khadse and Pratap Sarnaik got notices too, and now everyone is discussing Raut. “All these people are crucial for government formation in Maharashtra. These are pieces of paper, nothing else,” he said.
According to an NDTV report, Raut also stated that he has a file on BJP which contains 121 names and he would soon give it to the ED office. “There are so many names that the ED will have to work for five years,” he said.
Following the summon, Raut also stated that he was “not scared of anyone”. “Targeting women of a household is an act of cowardice. We are not scared of anyone and will respond accordingly. ED needed some papers and we have submitted them in time,” Raut told the media, Times Now reported.
State Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray too said that the ED summons is politically motivated. “We are not scared. The MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) Government is stable,” PTI quoted him saying. Several MVA leaders too came out in support of Raut and said that the government was blatantly misusing central agencies. MVA member and Congress leader Naseem Khan said, “This is nothing but revenge politics and we condemn it strongly.” Home Minister Anil Deshmukh too said, "The moment you raise questions on the BJP, they use ED as their weapon against you. That was never seen before in Maharashtra politics."