After the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam case in Mumbai on Monday, 1 August, several Opposition leaders questioned the action taken by the ED.
"Those who raise voice against the wrong are suppressed and targetted," Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray was quoted as saying. "This entire political drama is of the one-and-half months. The government will collapse for sure. Maharashtra never tolerates treachery,” he said.
Commenting on the probe agency's functioning, Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said in a tweet, "Answer to my parliamentary question regarding ED says it all: 27 times increase in cases filed however look at the conviction rate: of 0.5 percent. This is a political witch-hunt targeting the opposition, not an attempt to bring transparency in financial dealing."
"In the 8 years of the BJP regime, the ED has been selectively targeting only the Opposition and those who speak against the Centre," said Congress leader and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel according to ANI.
He also said: "BJP-ruled states are not looked into. I don't say those in wrong shouldn't be investigated, but it should not be done selectively."
"I have been saying that ED, IT and CBI are being used to destabilise non-BJP ruled states. Jharkhand is a prime example."
On the other hand, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis defended the ED.
"Central agencies work after collecting evidence. I won’t be speaking more on it as the matter is in court now," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra questioned why the ED shouldn't investigate the corruption case.
"Why is there a sense of entitlement in Sanjay Raut? He's an MP. Does it mean there should not be an investigation against him? This is new India. If there is corruption of hard-earned money of people, there is a policy of zero tolerance and it'll be investigated," Patra stated.
'ED's Power Misused To Topple Elected Govts': Kapil Sibal
Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal said in a tweet, "ED’s powers and reach of investigation, endorsed by a clearly flawed Supreme Court judgement, will be misused to topple elected governments and destroy our federal structure. (sic)"
Congress spokesperson Dr Shama Mohamed said in a tweet, "#SanjayRaut is arrested by ED. When is ED going to arrest @himantabiswa in Sharda Scam or Narayan Rane for multiple corruption allegations? ED has forgotten that its a National agency & not a full time thug working overtime for BJP whose only job is to harass opposition leaders! (sic)"
Trinamool Congress (TMC) spokesperson Saket Gokhale said in a tweet, "I met @rautsanjay61 3 days ago. He said he had told ED he will appear for questioning after Parliament on 7 August and suspects he will still be arrested. BJP’s vendetta is predictably brazen. Targeting the Opposition WILL come back and haunt Modi-Shah as well as these pliant officials."
Sena Workers To Protest Raut's Arrest
Raut's brother, Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Raut, pledged support for the leader and indicated that the party workers will stage protests against the arrest on Monday.
"The Shiv Sena and Uddhav ji stand solidly behind us. Our legal fight (over Sanjay Raut's arrest) has begun," the Shiv Sena MLA from Vikhroli said.
An agency team, on Sunday, 31 July, had reached Sanjay Raut's residence in Mumbai's Bhandup area, where they conducted a search, questioned him, and by evening, summoned him for questioning at the ED's zonal office in south Mumbai's Ballard Estate, which went on for over six hours.
Outside the ED's office, Raut had told reporters on Sunday that the "ED will arrest me, but I won't bow down."
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Kirit Somaiya posted a video on Twitter and said, "#SanjayRaut threatened several persons to send them in Jail And today…??? He is sent to Jail by ED Truth always wins! (sic)"