The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena on Monday alleged that an Enforcement Directorate notice to its chief Raj Thackeray in a money laundering case was “political vendetta”, PTI reported.
Unidentified officials said earlier in the day said that the investigating agency summoned Thackeray and Unmesh Joshi, the son of former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, to its offices on August 22. The summons were a part of its investigation into alleged money laundering in the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services group. The agency is investigating IL&FS’s loan and equity investment of Rs 860 crores in Kohinoor CTNL.
“Raj Thackeray created a sensation during the Lok Sabha poll campaign earlier this year,” MNS spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande said. “It had a significant impact on people and to avoid a similar challenge ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections, the ED has issued the notice. It is a case of political vendetta.”
“The Kohinoor deal is very old and Thackeray exited it long time back. I wonder why the Centre has come up with the inquiry notice so late,” Deshpande said, adding that the investigating agency had become a “tool to suppress our voice”.
“If the government takes any action with prejudice against Raj Thackeray, we will protest on streets,” Deshpande added.
IL&FS is an infrastructure lending giant that defaulted on several payments last year. The firm was so large that the defaults had been compared to the 2008 Lehman Brothers crisis, which triggered a global financial meltdown. IL&FS has an overall debt of Rs 91,000 crore. The company had attempted to sell its assets to repay the debt after several defaults forced the government to overhaul its management.