Sanjay Raut Gets ED Summons: Sanjay Raut is one of the most vocal supporters of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray amid the revolt in Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, one of the most vocal supporters of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Mumbai for questioning yesterday in a case of alleged money laundering, amid a rebellion in the party.
Mr Raut, a Rajya Sabha member, responded with the allegation that “this is a conspiracy to stop me”. Team Thackeray is saying that the rebellion led by Eknath Shinde is a result of “pressure from the ED, CBI and other agencies” under the BJP-led central government. In his tweet, Mr Raut said he “won’t take the Guwahati route”, referring to the insurgents camping in the capital of BJP-ruled Assam.
The summons to Mr Raut is in connection with the ₹1,034 crore Patra Chawal land scam case in which his properties were attached by the ED in April. Mr. Raut then said, “I am not the one who will be scared.”
Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is also the chief minister’s son, compared the developments in Maharashtra with the happenings in the circus.
Sanjay Raut Gets ED Summons: On summoning Sanjay Raut, junior Thackeray said, “This is not politics, it is a circus now.”
Two months later, after several Shiv Sena MLAs revolted and demanded the disbanding of the Shiv Sena’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Mr Raut accused them of acting on the BJP’s instructions charged up. The rebels have insisted that the Shiv Sena should go back to its “natural” alliance with the BJP, citing a shared Hindutva ideology.
Challenging the claim of ideology, Team Thackeray has repeatedly accused the central government of misusing the ED. “Even we have pressure from ED but we will stand by Uddhav Thackeray,” Sanjay Raut told reporters last Thursday. While pledging allegiance to Uddhav Thackeray’s father and party founder Bal Thackeray, he had further said, “Whoever leaves the party under ED pressure is not a true Balasaheb bhakt.” Rebel Eknath Shinde has also described Bal Thackeray as his guide.
Sanjay Raut Gets ED Summons: Meanwhile, the battle for the claim of the “real” Shiv Sena is now being fought in court as well. The Shinde camp has moved the Supreme Court against Shiv Sena’s move to disqualify him and 15 other rebel MLAs. In the petition, Mr Shinde has claimed that the ruling coalition in Maharashtra has lost majority as 38 out of 55 Shiv Sena MLAs “withdrew support”.
A petition has also been filed in the Bombay High Court – this one, a PIL or PIL or PIL against Eknath Shinde and other rebel Shiv Sena MLAs for “creating political turmoil”. It urges the court to direct the rebel leaders to return to Maharashtra to resume their duties.