Opposition leaders flay ‘misuse’ of probe agencies by Union government

AAP convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal says the BJP is blinded by political vendetta

June 14, 2023 12:30 am | Updated 11:00 am IST - Mumbai

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were among those who condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tamil Nadu’s Electricity Minister V. Senthil Balaji.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were among those who condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tamil Nadu’s Electricity Minister V. Senthil Balaji. | Photo Credit: PTI

Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury were among several Opposition leaders who condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tamil Nadu’s Electricity Minister V. Senthilbalaji. They were united in their view that the action was a blatant misuse of the agency against political opponents by the Central government.

The raids at places linked to Mr. Senthilbalaji and some others by the ED was part of an investigation into allegations of money laundering.

“I strongly condemn ED’s incessant actions against the Ministers of Govts ruled by Opposition Parties. With the raids on Senthil Balaji’s office, ED has now ventured to the southern States with its sinister motive to crush the voice against undemocratic Central Government,” Mr. Pawar said on Twitter.

Mr. Senthilbalaji’s office at the Tamil Nadu Secretariat was among several locations that the ED searched.

Ms. Banerjee described the “misuse” of Central agencies as “desperate acts by BJP”.

“I condemn the political vendetta by BJP against DMK today. Misuse of central agencies continues. ED raids in Tamil Nadu at the office of Minister for Prohibition and Excise at the State Secretariat and his official residence are unacceptable. Desperate acts by BJP,” she tweeted.

Mr. Kejriwal said the BJP was blinded by vendetta. “BJP’s misuse of central agencies to harass and intimidate the opposition continues unabated. Strongly condemn the ED raids against Thiru V Senthil Balaji, Tamil Nadu’s Electricity Minister. Blinded by political vendetta, the BJP is causing irreversible damage to our democracy,” he tweeted.

Accusing the Narendra Modi-led NDA government of “weaponising” the ED to target Opposition leaders, Mr. Yechury said on Twitter, “Strongly condemn the ED raids at the office of Tamil Nadu Minister for Prohibition & Excise Thiru Senthilbalaji in the State Secretariat at Chennai.”

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