The impression that the ruling party at the Centre is using the Enforcement Directorate and other investigative agencies selectively to target the Opposition may not be unfounded, given the number of Congress biggies who are now under the ED lens. Yet, to dismiss all such investigations as vindictive without caring to offer a credible response to the charges in question is at best a diversionary tactic --- and at worst, an admission that there is no smoke without fire.
The latest case concerns Varsha Raut, wife of Shiv Sena MP, Sanjay Raut. If his wife did not transact the Rs 55-lakh loan from the scam-ridden PMC Bank, she ought not to have ignored the two earlier summons from the ED. It is a fact that the promoters of the bankrupt Housing Development Infrastructure Limited, Sarang and Rakesh Wadhawan, accused of perpetrating the Rs 6,500-crore scam, had gone out of the way to win over local politicians.
Whether or not the transaction in question is a case of money-laundering, as alleged by the ED, or is a straightforward loan, can be found only after thorough investigation. The cooperation of Varsha Raut might, in fact, help the ED to clarify the matter. Shouting political vendetta from the housetops or pointing an accusatory finger at the BJP leaders reveals a poor defence.