Union minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said the ED launched a probe against NCP leader Praful Patel after his signatures were found on the documents which were also signed by the wife of gangster Iqbal Mirchi.
The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Praful Patel on October 18 in connection with a probe into alleged illegal assets of Iqbal Mirchi, who was an aide of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
"The ED has some documents with signatures of Praful Patel and Hazra Iqbal Memon (Mirchi's wife). The NCP has a track record of legendary corruption cases, hence the state should be worried about it," Piyush Goyal told reporters.
Iqbal Mirchi, a drug lord and an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, died in London some years back.
The agency is expected to record Praful Patel's statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act regarding a deal between a real estate company promoted by Praful Patel and his wife, and Hazra Memon.
"No investigation is carried out without any basis. Investigating agencies must have got some information. We are in favour of free and fair investigation, hence we are not intervening in it," Union minister Piyush Goyal said.
Patel on Tuesday denied the allegations of any business links with Iqbal Mirchi or his wife. Asked why the BJP has inducted some Congress and NCP leaders though they are facing corruption charges, Piyush Goyal said, "No leader who joined from Congress or NCP has any criminal charges or major accusations. We have screened them properly.
"You will not believe, but the entire Congress and NCP (leadership) were ready to join the BJP. We have carefully selected leaders who have been good in their constituencies with clean image," he said.