Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar at Modi's office in Parliament, in a meeting that lasted about 20 minutes.
Speaking to news agency ANI, the NCP leader stated,
"I brought to the notice of the PM the matter regarding (the Enforcement Directorate) attaching properties of Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut. If a central agency takes a step like this, then they've to take responsibility for it..is this action against him because he speaks against the government?"Sharad Pawar
The ED on Tuesday attached Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's property in connection with the Rs 1,034 crore Patra Chawl land scam case.
As per multiple reports, the two leaders also discussed the ED inquiries against other Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi leaders.
Speaking to reporters, Pawar continued, "I told him (PM Modi) that the way Raut’s properties have been attached is injustice," reported India Today.
“I told the PM that Sanjay Raut is not just a RS member, but also a journalist,” he added.
Meeting Raises Alarm Amid Accusations of Political Foul Play
The meeting raises political alarm in light of the government of Maharashtra previously accusing the Union government of employing central agencies, like the CBI and ED, to target opposition leaders.
Earlier in the day, the CBI took custody of former Maharashtra Home Minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh in a case of alleged corruption against him.
The CBI said that it was seeking custody of Deshmukh for a period of 10 days, PTI reported.
Meanwhile, the interaction also comes a day after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari attended a dinner at Pawar's residence in the presence of scores of Maharashtra MLAs across party lines. Raut was also reportedly at the dinner.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Pawar spoke on the state government and said further, "It is the responsibility of those who are in power, to not make anyone feel ignored or sidelined. No such matter is raised when we sit and talk one to one," ANI quoted.
Resuming his comments, he asserted that the MVA will come back to power after the next assembly elections in Maharashtra.
The leader also remarked on the speculation surrounding him joining the UPA, staunchly denying any interest in taking on this 'responsibility'.
Raut Launches Verbal Attack on Kirit Somaiya
Earlier, Raut took to Twitter and accused Lok Sabha leader Kirit Somaiya of illegally drawing Rs 57 crore that he had claimed was crowd-funded in 2013-14 into aircraft carrier INS Vikrant as it was decommissioned by the Indian Navy. He wrote,
"Where did this loot go? Look who's talking.. 57 crores... BJP will have to answer..INS Vikrant Bhangar. The money laundered is at Kirit Somaiya's house."
Raut, on Wednesday, had spoken on ED's action against him.
"People come from Delhi. Entered the homes of our people. No notice, no warrant, no summons. It's alright, we'll see. Time will change and our time will also come," the Shiv Sena leader said.
(With inputs from NDTV, ANI and IANS.)