The brother-in-law of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was ambushed by the enforcement directorate, with the agency freezing Rs 6.45 crore in its assets in a money laundering case, officials said Tuesday.
The move came two weeks after the Income Tax Department carried out a series of raids on people associated with his son Aaditya Thackeray, a minister, and co-worker Anil Parab, and prompted their party Shiv Sena to accuse the BJP in the center of selectively targeting target political opponents.
“The ED (Enforcement Directorate) is acting under political pressure. They are trying to bend us through central agencies,” Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said Monday.
“All states that do not have a BJP government are facing this. Yesterday Mamata Banerjee’s cousin was questioned by ED. This smacks of demonic autocracy. Neither Bengal nor Maharashtra will bow,” he added.
Veteran politician and Uddhav Thackeray’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ally Sharad Pawar reiterated him. “This is all politics. Five years ago, nobody knew what the ED was,” he said.
In a statement, the financial crime investigation agency said it has issued a preliminary injunction to “confirm” 11 residential flats in the Neelambari project, located in Thane near Mumbai, of Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Private Limited. Linking a property means it cannot be transferred, converted or moved.
Shridhar Madhav Patankar, brother of Mr Thackeray’s wife, Rashmi, “owns and controls” Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Private Limited, it said.
The agency alleged that funds allegedly transferred in a money laundering case being investigated against a company called Pushpak Bullion had been “parked” in the real estate projects of Shree Saibaba Grihanirmiti Pvt. Ltd.