A major war of words erupted once again between the Maha Vikas Aghadi allies Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached 11 properties belonging to the brother-in-law of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, here on Wednesday.
As a political storm raged in the state, top BJP leaders warned that “this is the just the beginning and more action would follow in the next few weeks”, while the MVA leaders hit back at the BJP accusing it of “blatantly misusing central probe agencies to harass and topple the state government”.
Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane ominously said “Aage aage dekho, hota hai kya” (wait and watch what unfolds ahead), while his MLA son Nitesh Rane dropped hints seeking the CM’s resignation after the ED attached properties of a company allegedly owned by Shridhar Madhav Patankar, Thackeray’s brother-in-law.
Rejecting outright the MVA’s charges, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis reiterated that the probe agencies are merely doing their job without any interference or influence to expose corruption at all levels.
BJP activist and ex-MP Kirit Somaiya warned to expose at least half-a-dozen more ‘corrupt ministers’ of what he alleged was the ‘maha vasooli (extortionist) aghadi’ 3-party alliance and other scams involving important leaders.
Another activist Mohit (Kamboj) Bharatiya vowed more fireworks to expose more misdeed of the MVA bigwigs and certain bureaucrats of their purported financial misdoings and investments in properties in the US.
In a major development that shook the MVA, the ED on Tuesday said it has attached immovable properties worth around Rs 6.45 core belonging to Pushpak Group’s entity, Pushpak Bullion, in Thane.
These included 11 flats in the Neelambari realty project of Thane, which the ED said, belongs to Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Pvt Ltd owned and controlled by Patankar – the brother-in-law of CM Thackeray and brother of his wife Rashmi Thackeray.
The stunning swoop action arose out of a money-laundering case registered against Pushpak Bullion and other group companies under the PMLA, in March 2017, when the BJP-Sena alliance was in power in the state.
NCP President Sharad Pawar, MVA ministers and leaders including Eknath Shinde, Aaditya Thackeray, MPs Supriya Sule, Sanjay Raut, Nana Patole, and many others slammed the ED for targetting opposition-ruled states like Maharashtra and West Bengal with sinister intentions to instil fear and bring down the duly elected governments.