Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik, an accused in a money-laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Tuesday said he would cooperate with the central agency and asserted that his assets were earned "following all the rules". The Maharashtra legislator visited the renowned Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai's Prabhadevi area and later told reporters that he asked God to help him and his family overcome the current crisis.
Sarnaik said he had asked God to also mitigate problems like COVID-19 and farm distress. The Sena MLA said he had received a notice from the ED and already replied to it, adding he would face the central agency whenever its officials call him as part of the probe in the money-laundering case.
Queried on his assets, Sarnaik said, "I used to drive an autorickshaw. I ran an omelet paav stall. I have reached where I am in 30 years following all the rules." The MLA from the Ovala-Maijwada constituency in adjoining Thane city said the BJP government at the Centre could probe him using agencies like ED or the Income Tax but "I am ready to face each probe". On his criticism of Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and actor Kangana Ranaut, the MLA said "I would not spare anyone who speaks ill of Mumbai, Maharashtra and its people".
Asked whether he was made an offer by BJP leaders, he shot back "No matter how many offers are made, Pratap Sarnaik is a sainik (Sena worker) who will go by the guidance of (Chief Minister and party president) Uddhav Thackeray saheb".