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Sanjay Raut claims some people approached him to help topple Maha govt; writes to Vice President

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Sanjay Raut claims some people approached him to help topple Maha govt; writes to Vice President
Feb 9th 2022, 08:29, by The Hans India

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has written a letter to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, claiming he was approached by "certain people" who asked him to assist in toppling the MVA government in Maharashtra so that the state could be forced into mid-term elections.

Raut, who is the Rajya Sabha member, asserted that the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government will complete its five-year term, and said he will not bow down and will continue to speak the truth.

He claimed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and other central agencies were being used with the "oblique motive" of toppling democratically elected governments. In the letter to Naidu, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Raut said central agencies like the ED were "systematically targeting" Shiv Sena leaders, after the party formed the (MVA) government in Maharashtra with the NCP and Congress after severing ties with its old ally BJP.

Raut requested Naidu to take note of the "abuse of power" and alleged harassment of Rajya Sabha members, and said the vice president should also speak up and take action in this connection.

Seeking to put up a brave face, the Rajya Sabha member also said he is "not scared and will not bow down", and will continue to speak truth both inside and outside the House.

The Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson wrote the letter to Naidu on Tuesday and also sent its copies to leaders like Congress's Rahul Gandhi and NCP president Sharad Pawar.

Addressing reporters in Delhi on Wednesday, Raut said the letter was "just a trailer", and he will expose how (some) ED personnel were allegedly running a "criminal syndicate of the BJP".

"About a month ago, I was approached by certain people and was told to assist them in toppling the state government in Maharashtra. They wanted me to be instrumental in such an endeavour so that the state could be forced into a mid-term election," Raut alleged in the letter.

Raut further said he refused to be a part of the "clandestine" agenda, and claimed he was told that his refusal would lead to him "paying a heavy price".

The Sena leader claimed he was even told that his fate could be like that of a former railway minister who spent many years in jail.

"I was even warned that apart from me, two other senior ministers in the Maharashtra cabinet would also be sent behind bars under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), which would lead to mid-term elections in the Maharashtra, with all important leaders in the state being behind bars," he said.

Raut said the law to prevent money laundering became effective on January 17, 2003.

But, transactions which took place before that date and had nothing to do with money laundering are being investigated by the central agencies with the "oblique and ulterior motive" of harassing and terrorising political opponents of the BJP, he said.

"ED and other central agencies are being used with the oblique motive of toppling democratically elected governments, which is certainly not a healthy sign for any country where democracy prevails," he added.

Raut accused the ED of threatening people who sold land to him and his family about 17 years ago and in 2012-13, forcing them (the sellers) into issuing statements against him.

The Shiv Sena leader said the decorators and other vendors roped in for his daughter's wedding function were also being "intimidated and threatened so as to extract statements" that they received Rs 50 lakh in cash from him.

He alleged that the ED and other agencies have unlawfully picked up 28 people in these connections so far.

"I, with all due humility, wish to state that I am not scared, nor am I going to bow down, and I will continue to speak the truth, both in the House and outside the House," the parliamentarian said.

Raut said he perceives actions of the central agencies as an attack on his right to speak freely and on democracy.

"I urge you to not just take note of the abuse of power to perpetuate intimidation and harassment of members of the Rajya Sabha, but also to speak up and take action," Raut said in the letter to Naidu.

Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Raut targeted the Centre, alleging that the voice of opposition leaders is being suppressed in a more severe manner now than during the time of Emergency.

"But they (BJP) are under an illusion and people like us will not fall for such oppressive actions or forces.

I can understand the pain they are feeling since the Maharashtra government was formed.

They should fight politically.

.

.

the agencies like ED and others have become part of the criminal syndicate of the BJP or their masters," he alleged.

Raut said his letter to Naidu is not even a trailer and that he will expose how the ED "runs a syndicate, blackmails and engages in money laundering".

"You think we will bow down? The baseless people from the BJP have often been saying that I will be put in the lock-up next to that of (former Maharashtra minister) Anil Deshmukh (arrested by the ED in a money laundering case).

"It's alright, we will go.

But keep in mind you will also land in the lock-up next to us, because you have committed more sins, while we are clear.

We are not afraid of you," the Sena leader said.

Asked about the people who made him the offer of toppling the Maharashtra government, Raut said he will talk about it in near future, but claimed it was "a joint venture of leaders from Delhi and Mumbai".

He also alleged that two-three people were issuing orders to the ED in Mumbai on whom to be summoned or tortured.

"I appeal to (BJP leader) Devendra Fadnavis and he knows what I have got to say," Raut added.

Later, without naming anyone, Raut also said that "you won't be able to go to Nagpur if we take on you".

"…the ED will pay the price for it and I am ready to pay whatever price for the country and for the agency's reputation," he added.

Notably, Nagpur is the hometown of former Maharashtra CM Fadnavis.

Raut also said the Shiv Sena is being troubled since it won the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Lok Sabha bypoll held last year.

He said the Shiv Sena will expand and contest 100 seats in the Lok Sabha polls in future.

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