ED raids acts of political vendetta, say MVA allies

The alliance partners of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Tuesday termed raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) acts of political vendetta.

Earlier in the day, the ED raided the home of Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik and arrested his son, Vihang Sarnaik, in an alleged money laundering case. Standing with Mr. Sarnaik, the Sena said, “Such acts of misusing Central agencies against political opponents will make the Opposition stronger.”

The raids come a day after Union Minister and senior BJP leader Raosaheb Danve claimed that the MVA government would lose power in the next two to three months.

Mr. Sarnaik visited the office of Sena mouthpiece Saamana and met Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut. In a brief statement, he said, “We will take the judicial route.” Mr. Sarnaik had moved the breach of privilege motion against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. He was also vocal in demanding action against Mr. Goswami in the alleged abetment to suicide case of architect Anvay Naik.

“This methodology of (mis)using ED, IT,CBI has been used by central government to silence opponents just so many times that even people can see through the vendetta. ED is reduced to only enforcing centre’s whims&fancies. Our resolve to fight back only gets stronger. Bring it on,” tweeted Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi. Mr. Raut too said the party will not bend owing to such raids.

“This [ED raids] is no different from the ongoing practice of using power against political opponents,” NCP president Sharad Pawar said. State Congress president and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said the ED’s action was unfortunate and objectionable. “At a time when the Central government is not paying GST dues and ensuring financial blockade of State governments ruled by Opposition parties, it is also using Central probe agencies to threaten the Opposition,” said Mr. Thorat.

The BJP said the ED conducts raids only when it is in possession of evidence. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said nobody should fear if they are innocent. “ED raids only when they have something against a person,” he said

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 10:03:09 AM |

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