Nagpur: For the second time in 60 days, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) teams raided four locations, including the Nagpur and Mumbai residences of former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with an alleged corruption case filed against him, officials said here on Friday.
The raids were carried out in at least four locations as part of the probe into a money-laundering case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, lodged in May against Deshmukh, a senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, even as the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi slammed the Centre and Bharatiya Janata Party.
Earlier on April 24, around 10 locations of Deshmukh in multiple cities were raided by the ED on April 24 and he was detained for several hours after he was booked.
Prior to that, on April 6, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a preliminary enquiry following a Bombay High Court order asking the agency to probe the allegations of corruptions and misuse of office levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Soon after the dawn raids started, the ruling MVA allies Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress slammed the Centre and the BJP for “misusing central probe agencies” to harass opposition parties.
Sena MP and Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut besides NCP State President and Minister Jayant Patil accused the Centre of constantly misusing various probe agencies to target opposition parties’ and their leaders on flimsy charges.
In a sharp attack, Congress Spokesperson Sachin Sawant sought to know “what the ED is trying to search while raiding the residence of Anil Deshmukh” since both Param Bir Singh and sacked cop Sachin Vaze “never said money was given”.
“If the ED feels that money was given, why no raids on Vaze and Singh who supposedly gave the money? Sad state of Democracy We must save Democracy,” said Sawant.
He rued that all national investigation agencies have surrendered their independence before the (Narendra) Modi government and are being used as political weapons against the Opposition.
Sawant called upon the three ruling allies to “unitedly oppose this ploy to defame the MVA by torturing its leaders”.
NCP MP Supriya Sule said that while the entire state government is working round-the-clock to tackle the challenges of the upcoming Covid-19 ‘third wave’, the Centre is letting loose central agencies to pursue ‘vendetta politics’ against the Opposition.
In Nagpur, a large group of NCP activists lodged strong protests and raised slogans against the BJP and Centre for “blatantly misusing” central probe agencies like ED, CBI, NIA, etc. to hound opposition leaders.