Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday tweeted a picture of him holding hands with former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and tweeted a couple of lines of Premchand which says the easiest thing in life is to betray your own people.
Raut has been summoned today for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.
On Tuesday 12 of the 19 Sena members in the Lok Sabha met Speaker Om Birla seeking to replace Thackeray loyalist Vinayak Raut as the floor leader of the House. Acting on the representation, Birla has recognised Rahul Shewale as the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha. Birla also recognised Bhawna Gawli as the party’s chief whip.
There are two instances on the basis of which the Speaker made the decision.
“We are the internet process of the party and there is no split in the party. Shiv Sena is Shiv Sena. The party was angry with our leader Vinayak Raut. He was not supportive at all and that’s why we have demanded to replace him,” Shewale said.
Raut yesterday tweeted chief minister Eknath Shinde’s faction as “snakes”.
“Learn the skill of crushing the fun too…..Do not leave the forest because of the fear of snakes… Jai Maharashtra!!,” tweeted MP Raut on Tuesday morning.
Mewnwhile, Raut had last been questioned on July 1 by the ED for about 10 hours and his reply was recorded under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). This was the second time that the ED has issued summons to Raut after the Shive Sena leader failed to appear in his first summons due to the then political crisis in Maharashtra.
After his questioning, Raut said he would cooperate with the central agency.
“It is our duty to go in front of the central agencies if they have any doubt in their minds so that people do not have any doubt in their minds about us. We were questioned for 10 hours and we gave full co-operation,” Raut told reporters outside the ED office. In April this year, the ED had attached immovable properties worth Rs 11.15 crore, including a flat at Dadar, held by Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha and eight land parcels at Kihim near Alibag, jointly held by the latter with Swapna Patkar, in connection with the redevelopment scam.
Swapna is the wife of Sujit Patkar, a close associate of the Sena leader.
The federal agency said its investigation revealed that around Rs 100 crore was transferred from the real estate company, HDIL, to the account of Pravin Raut, who in turn diverted part of these funds to various accounts of his close associates, family members, and business entities.
Praveen Raut has been a director in an infrastructure company called Guruashish constructions and is stated to be a subsidiary of the HDIL (Housing Development Infrastructure Limited), an accused in the case. Pravin Raut was arrested in the past by the Maharashtra police’s economic offences wing.
The federal agency has also been probing the Rs 4,300 crore PMC Bank money laundering case against Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut who was questioned last year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the central probe agency.
The agency is probing her role in the alleged bank loan scam with regard to the transfer of Rs 55 lakh funds by the wife of an accused in the case, Pravin Raut, apart from some other transactions.
Last year, the ED had also attached Pravin Raut’s assets worth Rs 72 crore in this case and has questioned him and his wife Madhuri Raut.
The agency had alleged that Pravin Raut had “siphoned off” funds worth Rs 95 crore from the scam-hit bank in the garb of a loan, out of which he paid Rs 1.6 crore to his wife Madhuri Raut who subsequently transferred Rs 55 lakh in two tranches to Varsha Raut, wife of Sanjay Raut, as “interest-free loan.”