The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned senior Shiv Sena leader and member of Parliament Sanjay Raut on June 28 for questioning in a money-laundering case linked to the re-development of Mumbai's Patra chawl.
The questioning coincides with the Sena-led ruling combine Maha Vikas Aghadi facing a crisis in Maharashtra, with a big chunk of party MLAs rebelling against the leadership. Raut is considered to be close to embattled chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.Raut described the summons as a conspiracy to stop him. “Even if you behead me, I won't take the Guwahati route. Arrest me," he tweeted, referring to the Eknath Shinde-led rebel MLAs who are holed up in the Assam city.
I just came to know that the ED has summoned me.
Good ! There are big political developments in Maharashtra. We, Balasaheb's Shivsainiks are fighting a big battle. This is a conspiracy to stop me. Even if you behead me, I won't take the Guwahati route.Arrest me !
Jai Hind! pic.twitter.com/VeL6qMQYgr
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) June 27, 2022
The Rajya Sabha MP has been asked to testify before the law enforcement agency at its office in south Mumbai on June 28 and record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), news agency PTI said.
The ED in April provisionally attached assets worth more than Rs 11.15 crore of Raut's wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of the investigation.
The Shiv Sena finds itself in the middle of its worst crisis, as the party rebellion is threatening the government it has stitched in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
The factionalism came to fore when Shinde, a minister in Thackeray cabinet, flew to Surat with some MLAs and then to Guwahati.He claims to have the support of 38 of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs, one more than two-thirds of the strength that the faction needs to escape disqualification under the anti-defection law. The Sena is the biggest member of MVA in the 288-member assembly.