In an attempt to embarrass once its ally and now foe, Shiv Sena on Monday put up posters outside the Enforcement Directorate office calling it the state headquarters of the BJP, causing the Mumbai Police to step in.
The incident comes a day after the ED summoned the Sena Rajya Sabha MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha for questioning in connection with the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank money laundering case. Varsha Raut has been summoned on December 29 for the third time after she failed to comply with the two summons sent earlier on grounds of illness.
The irony is that Varsha Raut, who had taken Rs 50-lakh from the PMC Bank and failed to repay the amount, Sena and particularly Raut is alleging that BJP is misusing its power to suppress the voice of opposition. The Sena has been alleging that the BJP is using central agencies, like the CBI, Income Tax Department and the ED to target leaders of non-BJP ruled states.
Reacting to the summon, Raut said on Monday that he was “not scared of anyone”. “Targeting women of a household is an act of cowardice. We are not scared of anyone and will respond accordingly. ED needed some papers and we have submitted them in time,” Raut clarified.
However, he miserably failed to convince the media why his wife failed to repay the amount. And if she is a defaulter, why ED would not initiate an action against her. The ED had filed a PMLA case to probe the alleged loan fraud in the PMC Bank in October last year against the HDIL, its promoters Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan, its former chairman Waryam Singh and ex-managing director Joy Thomas The Sena spokesperson, Raut also listed the names of other state leaders, including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who were sent notices by the agency. “In last one year, Sharad Pawar, Eknath Khadse and Pratap Sarnaik got notices and now you all are discussing my name. All these people are crucial for government formation in Maharashtra. These are pieces of paper, nothing else,” he tried to defend her wife.
On the other hand, Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray also described the ED summons as “politically motivated”. “The ED move is politically motivated. We are not scared. The MVA government is stable,” Aaditya, son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, said.
Will Raut feel that ED should not initiate any action against her wife despite being a financial defaulter? Raut should introspect himself before making such “silly” justification. Such justification would only jeopardise the image of his party and his own image himself!