Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said if Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut is innocent, he should not be afraid of the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) action against him. Talking to reporters in Aurangabad, Shinde said, ”Raut has declared that he has not done anything wrong. If that is so, why fear a probe? Let it happen. Why fear if you are innocent?” The ED on Sunday conducted a search at Raut’s residence in Mumbai in connection with a money laundering case. In a tweet after the agency began the search at his place, Raut said, ”I swear by late Balasabheb Thackeray that I have nothing to do with any scam.” To a question on Shiv Sena leader Arjun Khotkar’s statement that he joined the rebel Sena camp as he was compelled by circumstances, the chief minister said, ”Did we invite him? Don’t come to us or BJP out of fear of ED or under any pressure.” Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Maharashtra also said that Raut should not be afraid of the ED action if he has not done anything wrong.
Former minister Girish Mahajan said, ”Sanjay Raut is unnecessarily invoking late Balasaheb Thackeray and instigating Sena workers against the Union government. He should not be afraid of anything if he is had done nothing wrong.” ”I don’t understand why he is tweeting and recalling the late Balasaheb Thackeray. People must trust the government and judiciary,” he said.
Kirit Somaiya, another BJP leader and former MP, said Raut is currently under investigation, and no charges have been framed against him. ”He should not be making any political comments right now. If he is found to be involved (in any irregularities), he should face the action.”