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Monday, June 17, 2024

A Tussle Between MVA and BJP Continues

ED conducts fresh raids in Thane and Raigad in connection with money laundering case

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. MUMBAI: A tussle between the ruling Mahavikas Aghadi (MVA) and BJP intensified with MVA ministers staging violent demonstrations supporting NCP leader and Minister Nawab Malik arrested by ED. At the same time, BJP launched a statewide agitation demanding his immediate resignation on Thursday.

The MVA leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Home minister Dilip Walse-Patil, Health Minister Rajesh Tope, NCP State President Jayant Patil, NCP MP Supriya Sule, Nawab Malik’s daughter Nilofer Malik, State Women’s Commission Chairperson Rupali Chakankar, and others raised slogans against the Enforcement Directorate (ED) near Mahatma Gandhi statue in South Mumbai. 

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Other members of the ruling MVA, including ministers -Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan, Vijay Vadettiwar, state president Nana Patole joined the agitation. Besides Shiv, Sena was represented by Minister Subhash Desai, Sunil Raut, Manisha Kayande, Corporator Yamini Jadhav, and former MLAs -Vinod Ghosalkar and Sachin Ahir.

NCP and Congress had expected that Shiv Sena would mobilize its Shiv Sainiks in full strength to prove its strength ahead of the crucial BMC elections, especially when BJP is pursuing its Mission 2022. However, most of the MLAs and Shiv Sena leaders, including Minister Aditya Thackeray, were absent since they were in Uttar Pradesh for poll campaigning.

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The MVA leaders raised slogans like “ED Murdabad,” “Modi Government Hai, Hai, Modi Government Chor Hai,” “Nawab Malik Zindabad.” They also carried banners, placards, and posters, vowing “never to bow before the ‘tanashahi’ (dictatorship) of Delhi.”

Speaking to the media, NCP MP Supriya Sule said that the BJP has crossed all limits to topple the MVA Government and has been using central agencies like ED, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and Income Tax to conduct raids on MVA leaders on fabricated charges. But the BJP will not succeed in its mission.

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Balasaheb Thorat said the BJP has no moral right to demand Malik’s resignation. It should launch an agitation to condemn the killing of two farmers under the car of Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.

However, BJP workers carrying play cards staged demonstrations all over Maharashtra, demanding the resignation of Malik. State President Chandrakant Patil said that the statewide agitation would continue till the resignation of Malik was obtained by the MVA government.

Malik, who was arrested on charges of money laundering and his alleged links with the underworld on Wednesday, is in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate till March 03. He was arrested after alleged underworld don Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar was arrested last Friday and was questioned by the ED. However, Iqbal was granted judicial custody for 14 days and sent to Thane jail on Thursday.

In another development, a 20 member ED team conducted raids on three premises of two relatives of Pravin Raut in Thane and Raigad on Thursday. Raut is accused in a money-laundering probe linked to an Rs. 1,034 crore land scam related to the re-development of Patra Chawl in Goregaon in North Mumbai. Pravin Raut is, a former director of a company called Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd, was arrested earlier this month and continues to be in ED custody. His custody was extended till March 07 by the Special Court on Thursday.

On Thursday, the fresh raids were conducted with Raut’s investments in Pearls Agrotech Corp. Ltd (PACL), the company that has defrauded over 5.50 crore investors in an Rs. 49,100 crore investment fraud across India. Raut’s land in Raigad worth Rs 1000 crore is pledged with PACL wound up. Its many properties across India have been attached by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the regulatory body for India’s securities and commodity market. Raut’s land is described as his benami asset. Pravin Raut is a close relative of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

Also Read: A War of Attrition Between BJP and MVA in Maharashtra


  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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