The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday conducted raids at Nationalist Congress Party MLA Hasan Mushrif’s premises in Maharashtra as part of its investigation into the alleged irregularities in the operations of sugar mills, reported PTI.

The searches took place at Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur.

In a video message on Instagram, the MLA from Kagal constituency in Kolhapur asked his supporters not to obstruct the raids. He also alleged that the raids were being conducted with a political motive, reported The Indian Express.

The former Maharashtra minister told reporters that the Income Tax Department had similarly carried out raids against him in 2019. Later, the courts stayed proceedings in connection to cases related to links to some companies and the other connected to benami assets, he said.

The Nationalist Congress Party alleged that the raids against Mushrif were part of the government’s strategy to target the leaders of Opposition parties.

“We have seen in the country 90-95% of the ED raids are conducted on leaders from Opposition parties,” NCP MP Supriya Sule said, reported The Indian Express. “This trend is also there in Maharashtra where Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself said that they have an ‘ED Sarkar’ at the helm. ‘ED Sarkar’ means ‘Eknath and Devendra Sarkar.’”

The party’s spokesperson Mahesh Tapase alleged that Wednesday’s action shows the double standards of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.

“RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently said in an interview that Muslims have nothing to fear in India and barely within 24 hours of his statement the home of a prominent Muslim leader and former minister of the NCP is raided by ED in Pune and Kolhapur,” Tapase said.

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut described the raids as “pressure politics”, deployed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Be it me, Anil Deshmukh or Nawab Malik...some BJP leaders had talked about putting Hasan Mushrif behind bars,” Raut alleged. “Such language was used against Bhavana Gawli, Yeshwant Jadhav [both members of the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena] and many important leaders who are part of the [Maharashtra] government now.”