Launching a stinging attack on the BJP and the centre over the alleged misuse of investigative agencies, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut today alleged that "contract killings" are now replaced by "government killings" to finish off political rivals in Maharashtra.
With some ministers in the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Income Tax, and at least one of them facing a CBI inquiry, Mr Raut said that central investigating agencies are working as "contract killers for the party in power in Delhi".
"Is there a rule of law or (a rule of) raids in Maharashtra? This is the question which comes to one's mind considering the record-break raids being conducted through Central investigating agencies," Mr Raut wrote in the weekly column ''Rokhthok'' in the Sena mouthpiece ''Saamana'' of which he is the executive editor.
Frequent raids have become a new business without any capital investment, he stated.
"Use people's money, government machinery to remove political opponents. In the past, contract killings were the order of the day in Mumbai. Hitmen were hired on contract to kill rivals. This is now replaced by ''government killing''. Central investigating agencies are working as contract killers for the party in power in Delhi," Mr Raut said.
Finishing off the unwanted political rivals through these agencies seems to have become a new policy, he stated.
Referring to the arrest of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state minister Nawab Malik's son-in-law Sameer Khan by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Mr Raut said Sameer Khan had been arrested under the pretext of his involvement in a drug racket and was put in jail for eight months.
"Now the court has granted him bail. The court said herbal tobacco was found in the possession of Khan and not drugs. Malik should file cases against NCB officials," Mr Raut said in the write-up.
The Sena leader further said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was raiding homes of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh instead of finding out the whereabouts of Param Bir Singh, the former commissioner of Mumbai police who had accused Mr Deshmukh of corruption with the help of some police officers when he was serving as the home minister of the state.
Mr Raut also slammed the raids conducted recently by the Income Tax department on the family members of NCP leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
"The details of the PM Cares Fund are not made public. It is said this fund is not a government fund but a private fund. Funds worth crores of rupees are collected in the name of the Prime Minister," Mr Raut stated.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)