- Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that even if he is killed, he will not resort to Guwahati route
- The Sena MP also termed the ED's summons issued to him as a "conspiracy"
- ED summoned Raut in a money-laundering probe linked to re-development of a Mumbai 'chawl'
Maharashtra political crisis: Hours after being summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in a land scam case, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday said that even if he is killed, he will not resort to the Guwahati route taken by rebel MLAs from Maharashtra. More than two-thirds of the Shiv Sena MLAs have sided with Shinde and are currently camping at a luxury hotel in Assam's Guwahati city.
The Sena MP also termed the ED's summons issued to him as a "conspiracy".
The ED summoned Raut on Tuesday for questioning in a money-laundering probe linked to the re-development of a Mumbai 'chawl', officials said. The ED's summon to Raut, who is considered to be a confidant of Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, comes amidst mounting trouble for the party in the wake of internal rebellion.
"I just got to know that the ED has sent me a notice. Major developments are taking place in Maharashtra. We all are Shiv Sainiks of (Sena founder) Balasaheb. This is a conspiracy. Even if I am beheaded, I will not take the Guwahati route," Raut said in a tweet and tagged BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis.
The Rajya Sabha member also dared the ED to arrest him. Sanjay Raut's brother MLA Sunil Raut claimed the ED summons were to scare the parliamentarian as he has been opposing the BJP.
Later, talking to reporters, Raut said, "I cannot go tomorrow as I have to attend a public meeting in Alibaug, and I will attend it."
The parliamentarian said he is a "Shiv Sena tiger" and the executive editor of a fierce newspaper like the (Sena mouthpiece) 'Saamana'. He asserted that such actions cannot weaken him mentally.
Raut said if there are orders from the BJP leaders, they (the probe agency sleuths) can arrest him.
Sanjay Raut's brother MLA Sunil Raut claimed the ED summons were to scare the parliamentarian as he has been opposing the BJP.
In April, the ED provisionally attached assets worth more than Rs 11.15 crore of Sanjay Raut's wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of this investigation.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is on the verge of collapse following a revolt by Sena strongman Eknath Shinde and at least 40 party MLAs. Several Independents have already withdrawn their support from the MVA government and sided with the Shinde camp.