Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached immovable properties worth around Rs 6.45 core belonging to Pushpak Group’s entity, Pushpak Bullion, an official said here on Tuesday.
These include 11 flats in the Neelambari project in Thane, belonging to Shree Saibaba Grihanirmit Pvt Ltd, which is owned and controlled by Shridhar Madhav Patankar, the brother-in-law of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
“The ED (Enforcement Directorate) is acting under political pressure. They are trying to make us bend through central agencies,” Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said on Monday.
“All states that don’t have BJP governments are facing this. Yesterday, Mamata Banerjee’s nephew was questioned by ED. This smacks of a demonic autocracy. Neither Bengal nor Maharashtra will bend,” he added.
Veteran politician and Uddhav Thackeray’s ally from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar echoed him. “This is all political. Five years ago no one knew what the ED was,” he said.
Shridhar Madhav Patankar, the brother of Mr Thackeray’s wife Rashmi, “owns and controls” Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Private Limited, it said.
The agency alleged funds that were allegedly siphoned off in a money laundering case being investigated against a company named Pushpak Bullion were “parked” in the real estate projects of Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Pvt. Ltd, NDTV said.
According to Indian Express, earlier the agency had provisionally attached properties worth Rs 21.46 crore of the promoters of Pushpak Bullion in the case.
The ED had registered a case against Pushpak Bullion in March 2017. The agency had found that Rs 84.5 crore demonetised currency notes were deposited in the bank accounts of two jewellery firms after demonetisation in November 2016 and the money was then transferred to Pushpak Bullion for purchase of 258 kg of gold.
Shiv Sena rules out alliance with AIMIM
According to a report by sources, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday dismissed the possibility of an alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), terming it BJP’s “B team”.
Speaking to media persons here today, the Shiv Sena MP said, “Uddhav Thackeray in his meeting with party MPs and district presidents today said that Shiv Sena will not ally with AIMIM. He added that AIMIM is BJP’s ‘B team’.”
Ratu earlier also rejected the suggestion of AIMIM’s alliance with Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), saying those who bow before the grave of Aurangzeb cannot become Maharashtra’s ideal, ANI said in a report.
“Our party was formed on the values of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Sambhaji Maharaj and would continue with the same values. Why would we form an alliance with a party which bows down at Aurangzeb’s grave?. How can you even think of that?” Raut said on Saturday.
“Maharashtra government is formed by three parties, Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. There will be no inclusion of any fourth party,” Raut had also said.
As per sources’ report, this comes after AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel said that AIMIM is willing to enter into an alliance with Congress and the NCP in the upcoming Maharashtra civic polls in order to defeat BJP.
“AIMIM is always held responsible for BJP’s victory, it is said that we are ‘B’ team of BJP, so we gave them (Congress) an offer to form an alliance with us. Since they are with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, they’ll never agree to form an alliance with us,” Jaleel said yesterday.
Notably, civic body polls are slated for later this year. Assembly polls in the state will be held in 2024, according to sources.
According to sources, last month, Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik was arrested after questioning by the agency in connection with a money laundering case linked to fugitive terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. He will be in judicial custody till at least 4 April.
At a news conference last month, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut had said the BJP would be using investigating agencies to try and topple the Maharashtra government and target its leaders and their families, including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The allegations followed raids on people linked to him.