The Shiv Sena on Tuesday alleged the Enforcement Directorate raids on party legislator Pratap Sarnaik’s properties was a case of a “political vendetta” being waged by the Bharatiya Janata Party against the Maharashtra government for taking a firm stand against Republic TV and its owner, Arnab Goswami, in the 2018 abetment to suicide case, reported PTI.
Earlier in the day, the Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, raided various premises linked to Sarnaik in Mumbai and neighbouring Thane in connection with an alleged case of money laundering.
Sarnaik is the Shiv Sena MLA who had moved a breach of privilege motion against Goswami and also sought reopening of investigation into the suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik, who left a note accusing Goswami and two others of not clearing his dues. Notably, Sarnaik had also demanded a unanimous resolution in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for legal action against actor Kangana Ranaut, for “maligning the image” of the state and Mumbai through her tweets.
Raut told reporters that after the raids, Sarnaik came to meet him and informed him that he had no clue why the central agency had initiated the case against him. Without taking names, the Shiv Sena MP claimed that the ED’s actions were clearly politically motivated.
“Sarnaik took a firm stand in connection with a channel and in the Anvay Naik suicide case,” Raut added, referring to Republic TV. “Hence, such suppressive action...This is definitely a political vendetta. The ED or other agencies should not work as a branch of a political party.”
Raut said the Maharashtra government, however, will not “surrender to any kind of pressure”. “Be it the Central Bureau of Investigation or the ED, our government, MLAs and leaders will not surrender to anyone no matter what,” the politician said. “We will keep fighting.”
He said the Shiv Sena “won’t care” if the central agencies and the judiciary are going to behave as “slaves or servants” of those in power. Neither would the Shiv Sena be scared if the ED sets up its office outside the residences of each of the party’s MLAs, MPs and leaders, Raut added.
“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 , only truth shall prevail,” the Shiv Sena MP claimed. “The motto of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ can win only in Maharashtra.”
Raut said that it is one thing for an investigation agency look into a matter and take action based on evidence. “But, you want to mentally harass the people related to the [state] government,” he added. “These actions will backfire on you. And I think that time is nearing.”