‘Targeting Women an Act of Cowardice’: Sanjay Raut on ED Notice
The ED has summoned Varsha Raut, wife of Sanjay Raut, for questioning in the PMC Bank money laundering case.
After Varsha Raut, wife of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the PMC Bank money laundering case on Tuesday, 29 December, the MP said in a press conference, “In last one year, Sharad Pawar, Eknath Khadse and Pratap Sarnaik got notices and now you all are discussing my name.”
He went on to say, “All these people are crucial for government formation in Maharashtra. These are pieces of paper, nothing else.”
Alluding to the BJP’s alleged targeting of the Maharashtra government, Raut also added, “Politics is about face-to-face conflict. Targeting women of a household is an act of cowardice.”
This was the third summon that was issued to her as she skipped the earlier two, citing health reasons.
The summons have been issued to her under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), in connection with receiving some funds that were allegedly siphoned from the bank, official sources claimed, reported PTI.
The ED has been probing certain officials in the alleged loan fraud in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank since October last year, against the Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) for allegedly causing "wrongful loss, prima facie to the tune of Rs 4,355 crore to PMC Bank, and corresponding gains to themselves".
‘Not Scared of Anyone’
In the press conference, Sanjay Raut addressed the ED notice, saying, “The Shiv Sena is not scared of anyone and will respond accordingly in its own time. ED needed some papers and we have submitted them in time,” Raut said.
Reiterating that no one on his side did anything wrong, he inquired if the BJP had conspired with the ED, saying, “Three people from the BJP are constantly visiting the ED’s office seeking information.”
Raut also added that there has been a 1,600 percent growth in BJP’s assets, yet no one sends them a notice, “why is the ED not investigating them?” he asked.
Eknath Khadse Summoned
Meanwhile, former BJP leader Eknath Khadse, who recently joined Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), has also been summoned by the ED for questioning on 30 December, according to news reports.
However, he told Hindustan Times that he is yet to receive the notice.
Following allegations of graft and conflict of interest in a land deal at Bhosari near Pune four years ago, he was made to step down from the ministerial council in the previous Devendra Fadnavis government.
“Apart from farming, I have no other income source. I was mentally prepared for this and had even said this while joining NCP. This would be my fifth probe in the same land deal case. The state anti-corruption bureau has investigated the case twice, while it has also been probed by the income tax department has and Zoting committee (formed by the previous regime),” Khadse said, quoted the media report.
“Until now, the ED used to probe major cases worth hundreds of crores. Now, if they want to investigate a land deal worth Rs 25 crore-Rs 30 crore, then I should be happy that my name is added in list of big people,” he said.
The Shiv Sena, which is part of Maharashtra's ruling alliance Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) along with the NCP and the Congress, had claimed that they are being targeted.
(With inputs from PTI, Hindustan Times)
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