Mumbai, May 26 (IANS): In another rude jolt to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) swooped on the homes and offices of Shiv Sena leader and Transport Minister Anil D. Parab, and his associates, here early on Thursday.
Around 7 a.m., ED teams simultaneously fanned out to around half a dozen locations in Mumbai, including Parab's official bungalow and private residence, besides his native Ratnagiri, and in Pune where two premises of a business associate Vibhas Sathe were searched.
A team of senior ED officials zeroed in on Parab at his official home where he was undergoing the 'preliminary' round of investigations.
The action follows a complaint lodged by the central probe agency in an alleged money-laundering case against Parab, certain shady land deals, besides other reported financial irregularities, arising out of the probe into allegations hurled by sacked Mumbai police officer Sachin Vaze.
The developments rattled the MVA as Parab became the second sitting Minister who has been targeted by the central probe agencies in the past four months.
Earlier in February, MVA constituent Nationalist Congress Party's Minister Nawab Malik had also been raided and is currently in jail.
In an early operation, ED teams with CRPF posses swooped at the locations to conduct searches and reportedly gathered incriminating electronic devices and other documents.
An MLC with a law background, Parab was one of the key players that led to the formation of the MVA government in November 2019.
Sena Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut and Congress state Chief Spokesperson Atul Londhe slammed the raids "with vendetta and ulterior political motives" to harass the MVA government.
"BJP leaders face more serious charges and cases, but nobody touches them... The Central agencies are being deliberately misused to demoralise the MVA allies, but we shall not be cowed down. We are with Parab," said a grim Raut.
Londhe said that the BJP has not yet digested its 2019 defeat in Maharashtra and is now hounding the MVA allies in its efforts to topple the state government.
Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party former MP Kirit Somaiya, who had predicted the ED actions, said this is only the beginning and many more persons shall be in the dragnet.
"Parab will go to jail today for his corrupt activities. Then, the Chief Minister's in-laws will have to be ready... This entire government is corrupt and one by one, all will be brought to book," Somaiya said in a dark warning.