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Uddhav jumps to cousin Raj Thackeray’s defence, says don’t expect any solid outcome in IL&FS investigation

FE Online
Raj Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has jumped to the defence of his cousin and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray who has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate for questioning in connection with IL&FS scam. When Uddhav was asked about the ED’s notice, the Sena chief said that he did not expect any solid outcome in the inquiry against his brother and exuded confidence that Raj will come out clean.

"Nothing will come out in the investigation," Uddhav said in an intriguing comment.

Raj Thackeray is set to appear before the ED in Mumbai on Thursday in response to the agency’s notice to him regarding a probe into IL&FS scam. After ED’s notice, Raj had said that he had faced such notices from government agencies and courts in the past and honoured them and he was going to honour the ED notice too.

"I have been through such cases earlier as well and I will come out of it," he said on Wednesday.

READ MORE: MNS worker commits suicide after ED notice to Raj Thackeray, party withdraws Thane bandh call

Besides Uddhav, opposition parties including the Congress and the NCP have also rallied behind Raj, terming the ED notice a vendetta politics by the ruling BJP led NDA. Leaders say that Raj was being punished for holding several rallies ahead of the Lok Sabha elections targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led government in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena is a constituent of the NDA governments.

Meanwhile, the MNS has claimed that its worker Pravin Chowgule, 27, committed suicide in Thane on Wednesday because he was upset by the ED’s notice to Raj Thackeray. Police, however, said that no suicide note was found from the house of Pravin.

"He took the extreme step… after getting perturbed by the news of ED sending me a notice," Raj Thackeray said in a statement on Twitter.

Police said that as there is a possibility of law and order issue in the view of Raj Thackeray’s grilling by the ED, notices have been served under section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to MNS activists and functionaries in Mumbai, Thane and other cities of Maharashtra where the party has influence. Section 149 empowers police to prevent cognisable offences (the offences where police can arrest without warrant).