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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

MNS alleges political motive; Opposition agrees

On Monday, the ED issued summons to Thackeray in connection with its investigation into the money laundering case involving the IL&FS group.

mumbai Updated: Aug 20, 2019 06:21 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
At Krishna Kunj, Thackeray’s Dadar residence, top MNS leaders, party workers and well wishers gathered and shouted slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
At Krishna Kunj, Thackeray’s Dadar residence, top MNS leaders, party workers and well wishers gathered and shouted slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.(HT image)
         

Following summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to its chief Raj Thackeray, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has found support from Congress and other Opposition parties, all of whom accused the Centre of targeting Thackeray. Chief minister (CM) Devendra Fadnavis said he had no knowledge about the ED’s notice, but warned the MNS of strict action if its cadres break the law.

On Monday, the ED issued summons to Thackeray in connection with its investigation into the money laundering case involving the IL&FS group. Thackeray was one of the founding partners of Kohinoor CTNL, into which IL&FS had invested Rs 225 crore. Thackeray sold his shares and exited the company in 2008. MNS spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande alleged the summons were a political move. “We are making people aware that this is the new India where any form of dissent is not tolerated. Rajsaheb is being targeted since he is questioning Modi’s wrong policies,” said Deshpande.

At Krishna Kunj, Thackeray’s Dadar residence, top MNS leaders, party workers and well wishers gathered and shouted slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. The Thane unit of MNS called a bandh on Thursday, which was later called off with Thackeray asking his leaders to not do anything which will cause inconvenience to common people. Thackeray has convened an emergency meeting of his top leaders.

Leaders from Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Swabhimaan Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) have all extended their support to Thackeray, describing the ED’s summons as an example of BJP’s vindictive politics.

The CM denied any governmental role in the episode. “The ED is an independent agency. If Raj Thackeray is innocent, then he has no reason to worry. He should face the inquiry. However if anyone takes law in his own hands, we will not spare them,” said Fadnavis. The Shiv Sena, headed by Thackeray’s cousin Uddhav, has not extended support to MNS. “The investigating agencies should be allowed to function independently and in the past, many politicians have been quizzed by them. We still have faith in these investigating agencies,” said Sanjay Raut of the Sena.

First Published: Aug 20, 2019 00:26 IST