ED’s raid on Sena MLA ‘political vendetta’: Sanjay Raut

Mumbai, November 24

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday termed the ED’s raids on properties of party MLA Pratap Sarnaik as “political vendetta” and said the Maharashtra government or its leaders would not surrender to pressure from anyone.

Talking to reporters here, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, without naming the BJP, said it should forget the dream of coming to power in Maharashtra for the next 25 years, “no matter how much pressure it exerts or spreads terror through agencies”.

“If you have begun today, we know how to end it,” the Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson said.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided premises linked to Shiv Sena MLA Sarnaik in Maharashtra on Tuesday in connection with a money-laundering case.

“This action is definitely a political vendetta. The ED or other agencies should not work as if a branch of a political party,” Raut said.

He said Sarnaik’s properties were raided while the latter was not at home, and added that no matter how many notices were issued, only truth would prevail in Maharashtra.

Raut also said there was no ban on probes by an agency and it could take action if there was evidence.

“But you want to mentally harass the people related to the (state) government. These actions will backfire on you. And I think that time is nearing,” he said.

The Shiv Sena, which was earlier a long-term ally of the BJP but snapped ties with it last year over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post, is in power in Maharashtra along with the NCP and Congress.

“Be it the CBI or the ED, our government, MLAs and leaders will not surrender to anyone no matter what. We will keep fighting,” Raut said.

Those who are trying to use pressure of agencies or want to demoralise MLAs, should keep in mind that “this is Maharashtra of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj”, he said.

The Shiv Sena would not be scared if the ED set up office outside the residences of each of the party’s MLAs, MPs and leaders, the Rajya Sabha member said.

Raut said he could send to the ED a list of 100 people of “a party whose orders the agency is taking” about their businesses and how their money-laundering was going on.

The Shiv Sena won’t care if the central probe agencies, the judiciary and the law were going to behave as if “slaves or servants” of those in power.

“No matter how many notices you send, raids you conduct, create fake documents and evidence, but in Maharashtra and in the case of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), only truth shall prevail. The motto of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ can win only in Maharashtra,” the Shiv Sena leader said.

Asked about the ED’s notice to NCP chief Sharad Pawar last year, Raut said let them make arrests if they want. PTI



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