After the Enforcement Directorate searched multiple premises in Maharashtra in a money laundering case linked to alleged illegal sale of Waqf properties, state Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik on Thursday said the central agency is under the wrong impression that it could scare him with such actions.
Addressing a news conference, Malik took a dig at the central agency and said it is welcome to probe 30,000 entities under the Waqf Board.
The Waqf Board will extend all the necessary cooperation to the ED, he said.
However, it should show the same interest in probing the complaints made by the Shia Waqf Board, Lucknow, as well, the minister said.
If the ED thinks such actions (searches) will scare me, then it is under the wrong impression.
Such acts will not deter me in continuing our clean-up operation under which central agencies are misused, Malik said.
In an apparent reference to the BJP, the NCP minister said he, along with his senior leaders, will send a list of documents of some leaders to the ED and urge the agency to probe them.
Malik has been attacking the Modi government for allegedly misusing the central agencies, particularly the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), against BJP’s political opponents.
Earlier in the day, the ED searched multiple premises in Pune and adjoining areas in connection with a money laundering case linked to alleged illegal sale of Waqf properties in Maharashtra.
ED officials said at least seven premises have been covered and the action is being undertaken under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The money laundering case is based on a Maharashtra Police FIR and the subsequent chargesheet, and the agency is collecting more information as part of the raids.
Malik said the ED was welcome to probe any case it wants, but it appears that the entire purpose of its current action is to malign his image.
He said ever since he took over as the Minister for Minority Affairs, the Waqf Board is functioning at its full strength with a full-time Chief Executive Officer.
Malik said seven FIRs, too, have been registered by the Waqf Board since he took over to probe alleged irregularities.
We have launched a clean-up operation in the Waqf Board under which past members of the board and some officials may also face action, he said, noting all businesses of the board are planned to be conducted online.