Pratap Sarnaik and his family should cooperate with ED

Pratap sarnaik & ED

Even after the BJP-haters, particularly the vocal Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member, Sanjay Raut, are accusing the saffron-ruled union government for the Enforcement Directorate’s raids at the premises of Sena spokesman and party MLA Pratap Sarnaik, nobody is talking about his amusing wealth and properties.

The ED on Tuesday conducted raids at 10 premises linked to Shiv Sena MLA Sarnaik in connection with a money-laundering case. Among the 10 locations that were raided was Sarnaik’s house in Thane’s Hiranandani Complex and detained his son Vihang Sarnaik for questioning.

After carrying out a four-hour operation, the ED team, with a huge posse of Central Reserve Police Force troopers, left Sarnaik’s Thane residence and reached the home of Vihang’s businessman brother, Purvesh Sarnaik. Senior Sarnaik, who represents the Ovala-Maijwada constituency in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, is also the chairman of Vihang Group of Companies.

The Sena spokesman, Sanjay Raut, who hardly misses any chance to target BJP, promptly accused the BJP for adopting coercive tactics to get Sena MLAs on its side to dislodge the government. He said, “The BJP has started dirty politics. But we will end this game. We will remain in power for the next 25 years,” adding that the BJP was misusing central agencies such as the ED to harass Sena MLAs, and that such tactics would not work.

The state Congress chief and Maharashtra minister for Revenue, Balasaheb Thorat also endorsed the views of Raut and said that the ED action was objectionable and unfortunate. “The BJP at the Centre is trying to muzzle voices of those speaking out against it. The ED, Central Bureau of Investigation are being used to settle political scores,” he further alleged.

However, in an embarrassment for the MVA government, the senior Congress leader and former Lok Sabha member, Sanjay Nirupam chose not to toe the party’s line over the issue. Reacting to the ED searches, he said, “No raid should be politically motivated. But the fact is that Shiv Sena leaders have gathered enormous properties through corrupt means. Such cases must be investigated generally. The truth will only come out after an investigation,” he said, adding that he did not particularly know about the Sarnaik’s case.

The BJP, on the other hand, responded saying the central agencies would not take such action without concrete evidence and put their credibility at stake. The leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis said the central agency would not take such action without concrete evidence. He said, “I am not aware of all the details. But I firmly believe if the ED takes action, it must have some concrete proof… If one has not done anything wrong, there is nothing to fear.” He also added that agencies such as CBI and ED were autonomous, and had their own mechanism to conduct probes.

In view of the present scenario, Sarnaik family should cooperate with the investigation agency and if they are not really guilty and innocent, they should face the enquiry. The Sena should also answers the questions posed by once it’s party member and now the Congress leader, Nirupam that Sena leaders have gathered enormous properties through corrupt means and such cases must be investigated generally.

M Charulata