Soon after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials arrived at Sanjay Raut’s residence today to question him in a money laundering case, the Shiv Sena leader tweeted that the central agency’s investigation was based on “false evidence”.
ED investigators reached the MP’s Rajya Sabha home this morning after he missed calls twice – on July 20 and July 27. The agency wanted to question him in connection with the chawl reconstruction in Mumbai. Mr. Raut, who is a close aide of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, has denied any wrongdoing and alleged that it was politically motivated.
“I have nothing to do with any scandal. I am saying this by taking the oath of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. Balasaheb told us to fight. I will continue to fight for Shiv Sena,” he tweeted in Marathi this morning. “False act. False evidence. I will not leave Shiv Sena. Even if I die, I will not leave you. Jai Maharashtra,” he added.
BJP MP Ram Kadam asked why the Sena leader missed the call. “Why are you afraid of the Criminal Procedure if you are innocent? You have all the time for press conferences but no time to visit the office of the investigation agency for questioning,” he said.
The Sena leader was questioned on July 1 in connection with the case. He also called to appear again on July 20, but referred to the ongoing Parliament session. He was then asked to appear on July 27, but he did not.
Mr Raut has come out in support of the Thackerays in the fight to control the Shiv Sena following the Eknath Shinde rebellion that brought down the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and the unseated Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister.
When he called on July 28, right in the middle of high-voltage political drama in Maharashtra, he had tweeted, “I just came to know that ED has called me. Good! There are big political developments in Maharashtra. , Shivsainiks Balasaheb has been fight a great war, this is a conspiracy to stop me, even if you cut off my head, I will not take the road to Guwahati. Take me! Jai Hind!