IL&FS scam: Raj Thackeray appears before ED; section 144 imposed outside Mumbai office
Mumbai, Aug 22: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) supremo Raj Thackeray appeared before the Enforcement Directorate, in connection with a case pertaining to alleged irregularities related to Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS)loan to Kohinoor CTNL.
Thackeray reached the probe agency's office at around 11.30 am. He was accompanied by wife Sharmila, son Amit and daughter in law Mitali, who shifted to a nearby hotel after he entered the ED building.
Raj has been summoned by the anti-money laundering agency in connection with its probe into the alleged irregularities relating to loans and equity investment worth over Rs 450 crore by IL&FS in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company.
Raj had reportedly exited from the company in 2008. Questioning of Unmesh has been going on at the Mumbai office of the ED since August 19.
Section 144 imposed outside Mumbai office
Mumbai police on Thursday imposed section 144 of CrPC (banning unlawful assembly) outside the ED office in south Mumbai.
The move was taken apprehending law and order problem, a police official said. "Raj has appealed his party workers not to throng outside the ED office but we don't want to take any chances," an official said.
In all the 12 zones of Mumbai, a close vigil has been kept on MNS workers. Since Thursday morning, there were reports of MNS workers in preventive detention.
Earlier today MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande and other party workers were detained by Mumbai Police in an effort to pre-empt any law-and-order problem. He was wearing a t-shirt decorated with the phrase "EDiot Hitler". The t-shirt also had the Nazi symbol printed on it.
Uddhav backs MNS chief
The MNS chief seems to have found unexpected support from his estranged cousin and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday.
"I do not expect any solid outcome from the inquiry," Uddhav told reporters in a brief reply when asked about the ED's notice to Raj.
Uddhav Thackeray's comment is significant as the state will go to polls later this year. The BJP and the Shiv Sena have said that they will contest the assembly elections together in an alliance. The partners, however, have launched separate campaigns, triggering speculation that they might go their separate ways if a seat-sharing agreement is not finalised.
Raj Thackeray had a fallout with his cousin in 2006 after which he had formed his political party.
His party MNS had dented the Shiv Sena's chances in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
In the recent national election, Raj Thackeray and his party didn't contest the polls but he campaigned against the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra.