Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has been given until July 1 to appear before the Enforcement Directorate for questioning in a money laundering case. Raut is one of the most zealous supporters of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray against a mutiny in the party. He was originally instructed to appear at the Mumbai headquarters of the agency today at 11am, but his attorneys requested two weeks to prepare the necessary paperwork.
The BJP is allegedly abusing the central government agency, according to Raut, in order to settle political scores. Mr. Raut immediately said yesterday that he wouldn’t show up and daring the ED to arrest him, calling the situation “a conspiracy to stop me.”
The lawsuit involves an alleged fraud in the reconstruction of the Patra Chawl housing complex. His family’s properties were also attached by the ED in the investigation back in April.
Meanwhile, it appeared that the political crisis was nearing its conclusion as renegade Sena leader Eknath Shinde said today that he would travel to Mumbai. He was speaking to reporters in front of the hotel where he and other rebels have been sleeping for a week in Guwahati, Assam, which is under BJP authority. Nearly 40 of the 55 MLAs who belong to the Shiv Sena, according to Mr. Shinde, support him.
According to sources, sometime this week, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari may order the government to demonstrate its majority in the legislature.
Due to their shared Hindutva philosophy, the rebels want the Sena to break its coalition with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and return to its “natural” affiliation with the BJP.