ED summons Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP calls it 'conspiracy'
Amid the political impasse in Maharashtra, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in a money laundering investigation in connection to the re-development of a chawl in Mumbai and other linked financial transactions involving his wife and friends. He has been asked to depose before the financial investigative agency on Tuesday. Raut has termed the move a "conspiracy."
- The ED's summons comes at a time when the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government is in a major crisis with many of its MLAs turning into rebels being led by Eknath Shinde.
- The ED crackdown on Raut, who is considered the Sena's troubleshooter, is being seen by many as a political vendetta and conspiracy by the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre.
Reacting to the federal agency's summons, Raut posted on Twitter, "I just came to know that the ED has summoned me. Good! There are big political developments in Maharashtra." "We, Balasaheb's Shivsainiks, are fighting a big battle. This is a conspiracy to stop me. Even if you behead me, I won't take the Guwahati route. Arrest me! Jai Hind! (sic)," he wrote.
I just came to know that the ED has summoned me.— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) June 27, 2022
Good ! There are big political developments in Maharashtra. We, Balasaheb's Shivsainiks are fighting a big battle. This is a conspiracy to stop me. Even if you behead me, I won't take the Guwahati route.
Arrest me !
Jai Hind! pic.twitter.com/VeL6qMQYgr
The ED summons is linked to Mumbai's Patra chawl redevelopment scam case. To recall, in April this year, the ED had attached immovable properties worth Rs. 11.15 crore, including a Dadar flat owned by Raut's wife Varsha, and eight land parcels at Kihim near Alibag, jointly owned by Varsha and Swapna Patkar. Swapna is the wife of Sujit Patkar, a close associate of Raut.
The ED had also attached property worth Rs. 9 crore related to Raut's close aide Pravin Raut previously. A chargesheet was also filed against Pravin. The ED investigation also revealed that around Rs. 100 crore was transferred from real estate company HDIL to Pravin's account. He then diverted part of these funds to different accounts of his family members, businesses, and close associates.
The ED said it had filed a chargesheet in the matter against Pravin and Sarang Wadhawan and Rakesh Wadhawan of HDIL and Guru Ashish Construction, among others. Pravin had allegedly paid Rs. 55 lakh to Varsha from his wife's account, which the ED termed as proceeds of crime. Pravin also allegedly bore Sena leader Raut's travel expenses, including his hotel stay and air tickets.