In a fresh jolt to the Opposition Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday raided multiple properties belonging to Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MLA Rajan Salvi in Ratnagiri district, and filed a case against him and his wife and son for allegedly amassing disproportionate assets.
Mr. Salvi, a three-term legislator representing the Rajapur Assembly constituency who is counted among the handful of Thackeray loyalists, alleged ‘political malice’ behind the raids and accused the ruling Eknath Shinde-led government of putting deliberate pressure on him.
The raids were conducted by a team of the ACB’s Thane unit at five premises belonging to Mr. Salvi in Ratnagiri in the Konkan region.
According to ACB officials, the MLA, his wife and his son had amassed assets to the tune of ₹3.53 crore, which was allegedly disproportionate to their known sources of income.
An offence under sections 13 (1) (B) and 13 (2) under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been lodged against the Salvis.
“I was aware of this raid…since morning, five teams of the ACB have been searching my residence and my hotel among other properties. A case has been lodged that case me. But what is unfortunate is that a case was filed against my wife and son as well. This is being done as I refused to join the ruling Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction,” said Mr. Salvi.
He further warned that the Shinde government would have to suffer the consequences of their actions in the upcoming elections.
“I am a public figure. So, if you have any problem with me, you are free to file a case against me. But why against my wife and son. The public of Maharashtra is seeing this misuse of agencies. They will show this government its place in the coming election. It will have to suffer the consequences of such actions,” Mr. Salvi said.
The Ratnagiri MLA further said that soon after the raids, Mr. Uddhav Thackeray had personally called him to express solidarity.
This is the second blow to the Thackeray group within 48 hours. On Wednesday night, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Yuva Sena leader Suraj Chavan, said to be a close aide of Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray, in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) khichdi scam involving irregularities worth around ₹6.7 crore.
Meanwhile, Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said that both Mr. Salvi and MLA Ravindra Waikar were staunch Thackeray loyalists who had been under “tremendous pressure from probe agencies” in recent days.
A week ago, the ED had raided Mr. Waikar’s premises in connection with an alleged money laundering case.
“These people have been under tremendous pressure for the past few days. This pressure is because both Mr. Salvi and Mr. Waikar refused to join the Shinde group. We are proud that they still continue to remain unbowed,” Mr. Raut said.