Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena on Tuesday accused a “desperate” BJP of using the Enforcement Directorate to target party leaders and staffers. The Sena warned its former ally that despite such underhanded attempts its government – an alliance with the Congress and NCP – would not fall.
Earlier today Sena Lok Sabha MP Bhavana Gawali’s aide was arrested by the central agency in connection with an alleged money laundering case.
The Enforcement Directorate had also issued a second summons to Transport Minister and Sena MLA Anil Parab – over the money laundering case against former minister Anil Deshmukh.
He appeared at the agency’s Ballard Estate office in south Mumbai at 11 am.
Before leaving for the Enforcement Directorate office Mr Parab, who had earlier been summoned on August 31 – said he had done nothing wrong and offered his full co-operation.
“I am going to the Enforcement Directorate today. As I said earlier, I have not done anything wrong. I am going to answer all questions. I don’t know why they have called me…. I should get to know once I reach. Whatever questions they ask I will answer and cooperate,” he had said.
Mr Parab had earlier cited a busy schedule and sought 14 days’ time to appear before the agency.
The summons had also come after a clip emerged in which he appeared to order the arrest of Union Minister Narayan Rane over allegedly controversial remarks against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Maharashtra BJP legislator Ashish Shelar was one of those to demand action against Mr Parab.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had said then the action against his colleague was “expected” and that the party would fight it legally. He also took a swipe at notices from the agency, calling them “love letters”.
Last week an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamna accused Maharashtra BJP leaders of threatening political opponents, secure in the knowledge the centre had agencies in their control.
The editorial alleged the BJP wanted to stop development by making baseless allegations.
In July Sanjay Raut hit out at the centre for using central agencies to topple governments and alleged that those who played a key role in forming the Maha Vikas Aghadi were being targeted.
The Sena isn’t the only party to claim that the ruling BJP is using central investigative agencies to intimidate opposition leaders. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot have made similar statements, as has NCP boss Sharad Pawar.
With input from ANI