Enforcement Directorate's raids at the official residence of Shiv Sena leader and Transport Minister Anil Parab coincided with the filing of nominations by Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar for Rajya Sabha election slated for June 10. It was also ahead of BMC elections in which estranged partners Shiv Sena and BJP will be pitted against each other. Parab is not only a close confidant of the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray but he has been a key leader who takes care of the proper functioning of the BMC election war room of the party and also supervises organisational work in western suburbs.
NCP and Shiv Sena have lashed out at BJP for today’s raids and alleged the misuse of the government.
The central probe agencies have the right to search and raid. ‘’But I don’t know why this action has been taken against the state minister,” said the Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
“There should not be any interference in actions taken by the central agencies. We have no objection against such action if transparency is maintained. The agencies have all the rights but all we expect is they should not be misused,” he added.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, said, “We're in support of Anil Parab. The BJP is using central government agencies against the opposition. This is just a conspiracy to defame the Maharashtra government.”
"The action against Anil Parab and other leaders of our party is happening with political vindictiveness. The entire party and the government firmly stand beside Anil Parab. Such actions will not bring our morale down. Maharashtra's politics was never so dirty. You have central agencies in your hands and if you think that Shiv Sena's or MVA morale will go down then you are mistaken. On the contrary, such activities against us make us stronger," noted Raut.
Today’s raids came days after ED carried out raids on Thackeray’s brother in law Shridhar Patankar and attached Rs 6.45-crore assets of the latter's company in a money laundering case. ED’s raids on Parab in particular is being considered as BJP’s lethal attack against Thackeray. Parab had played a major role in the organisation of Shiv Sena’s massive rally held on May 14 at the sprawling Bandra Kurla Complex ground in which Thackeray led a blistering attack against BJP, RSS and MNS.
Incidentally, the ED’s action came ahead of the elections to the six seats of Rajya Sabha on June 10 and 10 seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council on June 20 in which Parab as the Legislative Affairs Minister has a crucial role especially to supervise that the legislators of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress abide by the alliance dharma and vote to the respective candidates. Moreover, Parab will have to keep the independents and smaller parties supporting the MVA government in good humour to avoid cross voting and foil horse trading.