Raj Thackeray finds unlikely ally in Uddhav, Shiv Sena chief says nothing will come out of IL&FS probe

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Published: August 21, 2019 4:13:31 PM

The ED is probing Raj Thackeray's connection in the alleged irregularities of over Rs 450 crore by IL&FS in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company through loans and equity investments.

Shiv SenaUddhav’s remarks assume significance as the assembly elections in the state are to be held later this year.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray came out in support of estranged cousin Raj Thackeray in the IL&FS money laundering probe on Tuesday, a day before the MNS president is scheduled to appear before the Enforcement Directorate in the matter. The ED is probing Raj’s connection in the alleged irregularities of over Rs 450 crore by IL&FS in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company through loans and equity investments.

Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company was founded by former Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi’s son Unmesh, Raj Thackeray, and builder Rajan Shirodkar. The firms was meant to purchase and develop the land of the defunct Kohinoor Mill in Mumbai. Raj Thackeray had reportedly left the company in 2008. The ED has been questioning Umesh Joshi since August 19.

In a brief but significant statement, Uddhav on Wednesday told journalists that he did not expect a solid outcome from the enquiry. “Nothing will come out in the investigation,” Thackeray said.

Other opposition parties in Maharashtra, namely Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), have also rallied behind Raj saying that the notice seems to be vendetta politics by the BJP. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis though said that the party did not have any role to play in the ED’s investigation.

Shiv Sena is an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the central and Maharashtra governments. Uddhav’s remarks assume significance as the assembly elections in the state are to be held later this year. During his rallies ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Raj Thackeray had been very vocal in his criticism of prime minister Narendra Modi, but had spared Shiv Sena.

The MNS chief has appealed to his party workers and supporters to maintain peace. Raj said that he would abide by the law and appear before the ED on August 22. MNS had called for a bandh in Thane on Thursday, but called it off later.

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