INDIA. Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has asked Anil Parab, Maharashtra Transport Minister and a close aide of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, to remain present before ED officials for inquiry on Tuesday morning.
On Sunday evening Parab received a notice from the ED asking him to remain present in its office. Parab confirmed having received the notice but said that the ED notice has not specified the topic about which it wants to interrogate him.
The ED notice came days after a video clip of Parab, asking the Ratnagiri police to arrest Union minister Narayan Rane without waiting for an arrest warrant went viral. The notice is expected to revive the tussle between the Centre and the state government. Parab is the third person in the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) to receive an ED notice after former home minister Anil Deshmukh and Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik.
Speaking o the “Transcontinental Times”, Parab said that “Today evening I received a notice from ED. It does not mention any case. It says I have to remain present in their office on August 31 at 11 am. At this moment, I will not be able to say in which case this notice has been served.” “ I Will not comment now, I will respond legally after studying the matter. The notice says that I am called as part of an investigation. We were expecting such a move, so now we will examine it legally and respond to it.”
He refrained from linking it to the past week’s developments where Rane was arrested. In a video clip that went viral, Parab, in an apparent conversation with police officials, was heard saying, “Hello, what are you people doing? Have you detained him or not?. The High Court and sessions court had rejected his bail application. The matter will linger on. Then use the police force.” Parab was audible as he was sitting before open microphones on the table for a press conference.
In meanwhile Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that the centre’s move was expected. “We will fight it legally after examining the notice. The Centre has made Parab responsible for Rane’s arrest. He said that such notices would not have any impact on the stability of the Shiv Sena-led MVA government. Instead, it will only make their resolve to fight the Centre even stronger.
Raut referred to the ‘chronology’ and the timing of the notice. A few days ago, a union minister, who used unparliamentary language against the chief minister, was arrested in Ratnagiri. As soon as the ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ ended, the government at the top sent a love letter from ED to Parab, who is the guardian minister of Ratnagiri. “We have not threatened anyone. We will fight it legally”.
However, according to sources, ED might be planning to grill Parab in the light of the revelation by the arrested former police officer Sachin Vaze that he was receiving extortion instructions from former home minister Anil Deshmukh and Anil Parab.