This Article is From Mar 08, 2022

Now, Aide To Aaditya Thackeray, Shiv Sena Leader, Is Raided

Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray's close aide, Rahul Kanal, has been raided by the Income Tax Department

Aaditya Thackeray's close aide, Rahul Kanal, has been raided by Income Tax Department


The Shiv Sena today accused the Centre of selectively targeting opposition-ruled Bengal and Maharashtra, after the Income Tax Department conducted a series of raids of people linked to state ministers Aaditya Thackeray and Anil Parab. Accusing the government of misusing the Central agencies, Mr Thackeray said this "happened in Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and now if elections are to be held in Maharashtra, it is happening here too".

Sources said raids were conducted today at the home of Shiv Sena office-bearer and Shirdi Trust member Rahul Kanal, who is considered close to Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray. Locations liked to cable operator Sadanand Kadam and Bajrang Kharmate were also subjected to search and seizure operation, sources said.

Sadanand Kadam and Bajrang Kharmate are allegedly linked to Shiv Sena Minister Anil Parab.

Linking the raids to the approaching elections at the Mumbai civic body Brihanmumbai Corporation -- the richest in the country -- senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "Till the BMC elections are not held, every ward of Mumbai will be raided. Now the IT Department is now left with only this work".

"Why are people being targeted only in Maharashtra and West Bengal? Only Shiv Sena and Trinamool Congress are being raided. The government is doing this to create pressure so that the state governments can be toppled," Mr Raut said.

Most of the raids, he said, are happening in Maharashtra. "There have been raids on 14 prominent people in Maharashtra, seven more in West Bengal. There is no action against BJP people. Are they begging on the streets?" Mr Raut demanded.

The Sena, he said, has sent 50 names to Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate, but "no action is being taken even at the behest of an MP".

Aaditya Thackeray too, attacked the Centre on similar lines. "Such attacks on Maharashtra have happened in the past and are happening now," read a statement from Mr Thackeray, who is the son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

"Central agencies have been misused in this manner in the past. It happened in Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and now if elections are to be held in Maharashtra, it is happening here too. These central agencies have in a way become the propaganda machinery of the BJP itself, but we will not bow down. Maharashtra will not bow down," he added in the statement.

Accusing the "agents" of the Enforcement Directorate of "doing the work of extortion for the last few years", Mr Raut said: "The ED and some ED officials have become ATM machines of BJP. Some ED officials are contesting elections on BJP tickets, and that officer has also borne the cost of campaigning for 50 people, it is my knowledge".

Insisting that he is "speaking responsibly", Mr Raut added that he has given the full information on this to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Mumbai police, he added, will begin the investigation of criminal syndicate and extortion racket by a nexus of ED officials. "Mark my words, some of these ED officers will go to jail too," Mr Raut said.