ED to summon MNS chief Raj Thackeray in a week

MUMBAI: Raj Thackeray’s meeting with Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday – ostensibly to broaden the anti-BJP platform -- seems to have caused some disquiet in the government circles.

It is learnt from reliable sources that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) may summon Thackeray in the next week. It is understood that Raj Thackeray’s role in Kohinoor Mill No 3 purchase is on the ED’s radar.

Though Raj failed to cause any damage to the BJP-Shiv Sena allaince in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he may damage the BJP-Shiv Sena combine in the forthcoming Assembly election. Therefore, sources said the political strategy is to malign his image.

The ED action is aimed at keeping Raj under pressure so he could not speak much against the BJP-Sena government. It is also aimed at keeping Raj stuck in Mumbai. He will regularly be called by the ED for investigations and will be kept waiting for hours, a source said.

The ED recorded the statement of Kohinoor CTNL’s chief finance officer, and now Raj Thackeray will be summoned for a probe.

The ED and Serious Fraud Investigation Office are probing IL&FS group’s loan and equity investment amounting Rs 860 crore in the Kohinoor CTNL. This company is constructing Mumbai’s Kohinoor Square towers.

The company was founded by Unmesh Joshi, son of former Maharashtra CM and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi. Agencies are probing the shareholding and investment in Kohinoor CTNL for which a consortium was formed by Unmesh, MNS chief Raj Thackeray and his business partner Rajan Shirodkar to purchase Kohinoor Mills Number 3 for Rs421 crore.

The IL&FS group had invested Rs225 crore in the firm representing half the equity in 2008. IL&FS surrendered its shares for only Rs90 crore and sufferred a loss.

The same year, Thackeray, too, exited the consortium by selling his shares. After surrendering its shares, IL&FS advanced loans to Kohinoor CTNL, which it allegedly failed to repay.

By Pramod Chunchuwar

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