New Delhi: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu against the harassment that he and his family are facing by the Enforcement Directorate, after he refused to help in toppling Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra. The Sena MP said that the ED and other investigating agency officials “are now reduced to puppets of their political masters” and added that the officials have even admitted that they have been “asked by their ‘bosses’ to ‘fix’ me.”
Mr Raut made sensational claims, adding that he was threatened with imprisonment if he refused to help in forcing a mid-term election in the state.
“About a month ago, I was approached by certain people and was told to assist them in toppling the state government in Maharashtra. They wanted me to be instrumental in such endeavour so that the state could be forced into a midterm election. I refused to be a party to any such clandestine agenda which was being pursued, upon which I was warned that my refusal could lead to my paying a very heavy price. I was even told that my fate could be like that of a former union railway minister who spent many years behind bars. I was even warned that apart from me, two other senior ministers in the cabinet of the state of Maharashtra as well as two senior leaders in Maharashtra would also be sent behind the bars under the PMLA Act which would lead to midterm elections in the state of Maharashtra with all important leaders in the state being behind bars,” he said.
सत्यमेव जयते.. pic.twitter.com/ImdX7wPuYa
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) February 8, 2022
The targeting of Sena MPs began ever since Sena’s alliance with the BJP did not work out and the former formed the government with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, Sanjay Raut said.
He further revealed that his family owns some land, barely 1 acre, at Alibaug which was purchased about 17 years ago but those who sold the land, along with their family members, are being threatened by the ED and other agencies to give statements against him saying that they received some cash from him over and above the agreement value.
“This is also happening to other people who had sold a similarly small piece of land to me and my family in 2012-2013. Day after day, ED and other agencies personnel call these people and threaten them with jail and attachment of their personal properties unless they give their statements against me. All these properties are in the public domain and have been filed in all my affidavits filed along with my nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha. For all these years, there was no question asked of me. However, suddenly now everything has become a matter of ‘concern’ for the ED and other agencies. ED and other agencies have no business to “investigate” in respect of a property/properties acquired nearly two decades ago,” Mr Raut said.
Mr Raut claimed that 28 people have so far been picked up and “wrongfully confined” by the probe agencies and have been threatened with dire consequences if they don’t give statements against him.
Pointing to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act that was enacted in 2003, he alleged that the ED and other central agencies are threatening and harassing BJP’s political rivals by using the Act retrospectively with ulterior motive “in the garb of investigation” for decades-old transactions “that have nothing to do with any money laundering” even when the Act can only be applied to transactions after 2003.
He claims that the probe agencies are summoning, intimidating and threatening the decorators and other vendors of the wedding event of his daughter last year to extract a statement that they received ₹ 50 lakhs in cash.
“Ever since Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP in the state of Maharashtra, we find Shiv Sena MPs/ leaders being systematically targeted by using law enforcing agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate being let loose against us and in the process. Enforcement Directorate Personnel is leaving no stone unturned to intimidate/harass our legislators, MPs, political leaders as well as their relatives, friends, and acquaintances,” Mr Raut added.
He said that he was not scared and “will not bow down and will continue to speak the truth”.
“I perceive these attempts by the Enforcement Directorate and other agencies as a direct attack on my right to speak freely in the House and outside the House. I perceive it to be an attack on our democracy I perceive the recent attacks on people known and unknown to me to have been occasioned due to my refusal to partake in conspiring to topple the State Government in Maharashtra,” Mr Raut added.
He ended the letter with a popular poem by German pastor Martin Niemoller “who did not speak out against the Nazi Rule at the right time and wrote this confessional poem as a token of his regret”.