The ED on Thursday raided multiple locations in Maharashtra as part of a money laundering probe against state transport minister Anil Parab and others linked to alleged irregularities in a land deal in coastal Dapoli area of Ratnagiri district and other charges, officials said. Locations in Dapoli, Mumbai and Pune are being searched after the federal agency filed a fresh case under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Parab (57), is a three-time Shiv Sena legislator in the Maharashtra legislative council and is the state transport minister.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) action pertains to the allegations of purchase of a parcel of land at Dapoli by Parab in 2017 for a consideration of Rs 1 crore but it was registered in 2019. Some other charges are also being probed by the agency. It is alleged that the land was subsequently sold to a Mumbai-based cable operator Sadanand Kadam in 2020 for a consideration of Rs 1.10 crore. In between, a resort was built on the same land from 2017 to 2020.
The Shiv Sena on Thursday claimed the Enforcement Directorate’s raids on the premises of party’s Maharashtra minister Anil Parab were a way to exact “political revenge” and that this will only make the Sena’s resolve stronger to fight the BJP.
Accusing the BJP of misusing the central agencies, Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said their party and the state Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA- comprising the Sena, NCP and Congress) government stand with Transport Minister Parab.
“Such actions are being carried out to exact political revenge. You (BJP) have central agencies with you. If anyone thinks their political opponents will be destroyed by this, if anyone thinks that such acts will build pressure on the Shiv Sena or the Maha Vikas Aghadi, then it is wrong. Every action will only make our resolve stronger,” the Rajya Sabha member said.
All elections will go on smoothly, Raut added. Elections to various civic bodies in the state are due soon. Raut also claimed that BJP leaders have more serious charges against them than what the Sena and other MVA leaders are being probed for.
An Income Tax Department investigation earlier had alleged that the construction of the resort started in 2017 and over Rs 6 crore was spent in cash on construction of the resort.
Parab has been questioned by the ED in the past in an another money laundering case linked to former minister Anil Deshmukh.