Undeterred by ED notice in the money laundering case, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut gave challenge to the central probe agency to arrest him. Raut, who has been the Shiv Sena’s face in defending the party while leading a blistering attack against rebels and BJP, also announced that till his last breath he will remain with Shiv Sena while ruling out the possibility of flying to Gauhati to join the rebel camp.
‘’Arrest me. Jai Hind. I knew ED is going to summon me, I won't kneel down. No matter what the rebel MLAs do, I'll not go to Guwahati. I'm Balasaheb's Shiv Sainik and I'll stay with my party. I'll not appear before ED tomorrow. I will seek time from ED, but will definitely go,’’ roared Raut.
‘’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, a defiant Raut said on Twitter.
ED as part of a probe earlier temporarily attached assets belonging to Raut's wife Varsha Raut and two of his acquaintances totaling more than Rs 11.15 crore. Varsha Raut sent ₹55 lakh back to Madhuri Raut, according to ED findings. There are numerous additional transactions, it added. In relation to the PMC Bank investigation and her alleged connections to Pravin Raut's wife, the agency had questioned Varsha Raut in 2021.
Raut in the wake of rebellion staged by Eknath Shinde and other 38 legislators, has targeted the BJP led government at the Centre for the alleged misuse of central probe agencies including ED, CBI and Income Tax against political opponents by playing vendetta politics.
Reacting to the summons, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said the ED was showing "true bhakti" towards BJP.
Trinamool Congress spokesperson Sanket Gokhale took to Twitter and said, ‘’Predictably, ED has just issued a summons to Shiv Sena MP & leader @rautsanjay61 to appear for questioning tomorrow. It’s ironic how shamelessly Modi speaks of the Emergency when his govt is blatantly & openly using agencies for targeting Opposition leaders & toppling govts.’’
BJP MLA Ram Kadam said, "When financial irregularities come to the fore with evidence, such things are bound to happen. ED does not take action in a day. He must answer the questions."