Sanjay Raut
Sanjay Raut was detained by the ED in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam case. File photo

ED detains Sanjay Raut; ‘why fear if you are innocent,' asks CM Eknath Shinde

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday (July 31) said Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut shouldn’t be afraid of an Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation if he is innocent.

Later in the day, Raut was detained by the ED in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam case.

The chief minister was reacting after the ED conducted a search at Raut’s house in Mumbai in connection with a money laundering case.

Also read: ED issues fresh summons to Sanjay Raut

“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?” Shine said in Aurangabad.

On Shiv Sena leader Arjun Khotkar’s statement that he joined the rebel Sena camp as he was compelled by circumstances, Shinde said, “Did we invite him? Don’t come to us or BJP out of fear of ED or under any pressure.”

After the ED search, Raut took to Twitter to say that it was a “false action” against him and added that he will not leave the Shiv Sena.

“I swear by late Balasaheb Thackeray that I have nothing to do with any scam… Balasaheb taught us to fight… I will continue to fight for Shiv Sena… False action… False evidence… I will not leave Shiv Sena… Even if I die, I will not surrender,” Rajya Sabha MP Raut tweeted.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders in Maharashtra also said that Raut should not be afraid of the ED action if he has not done anything wrong.

Kirit Somaiya, another BJP leader and former MP, said Mr 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.”

Last month, Shinde and 39 other Sena legislators revolted against the party leadership, which led to the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government comprising the Sena, NCP and Congress.

Shinde was on June 30 sworn in as the chief minister and BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as the deputy CM.

“We will not give dates on loudspeaker like the BJP. But this government is surely not going to last for long,” Raut had said on July 24.

(With inputs from agencies)

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