Building up pressure on the Shiv Sena, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday raided multiple locations belonging to senior Shiv Sena Transport Minister Anil Parab and five-time Lok Sabha MP Bhawana P. Gawali, sources said.
The ED raids came a day after Parab was slapped with a notice requiring his appearance on August 31, but he said he will consult legal experts in the matter.
On the other hand, Gawali said that she has not received any ED notice so far, even as the agency raided around half a dozen locations linked to her in Washim district, including some trusts, a college, and social and business organisations.
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While Patil is a close aide of Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Gawali is the party's sole woman face in the lower house of the parliament, elected twice from Washim and thrice from the Washim-Yavatmal constituency.
"It (ED notice) is a legal matter. We shall deal with it legally," Parab said on the development, which came a week after Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane was arrested, granted to magisterial custody and then given bail during his 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra'.
Reacting to the issue, Sena MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that the notice issued by the ED is not "a death warrant", but "a love letter" for political workers.
"Only the frequency of such 'love letters' has increased after many unsuccessful attempts (by the opposition BJP) to breach the wall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which remains strong and impregnable. We are not scared by it," Raut told mediapersons.
Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson and Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said that such notices and raids are an outcome of "a clear political vendetta" witnessed against states ruled by non-BJP parties.
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"Some BJP leaders say in advance that so and so leader will face action and the central agencies start working. There's a strong doubt in the minds of the people all over India about the ED and even the Supreme Court has made certain observations recently," Malik said.
He pointed out how when leaders from other parties join the BJP, all actions against them are dropped, and reiterated that the MVA will not be cowed down by such tactics.