Baba Siddique faces ED searches in PMLA case
The ED on Wednesday conducted searches at the premises of Congress leader Baba Siddique and few others in connection with a money laundering probe case.
Officials said the raids are being conducted on at least half a dozen locations in the Maharashtra capital, including that of a builder.
The Enforcement Directorate, they said, has registered a criminal case against Siddique and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on a local police FIR in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of a slum area in suburban Bandra.
The agency also suspects usage of shell companies in committing the alleged irregularities and hence the raids are being conducted to gather more evidence, they said.
Siddique has been a Congress MLA in the Maharashtra Assembly and also served as a Municipal Corporator.
The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP of pursuing "vendetta politics" after the ED conducted raids on the premises of party leader and ex-minister Baba Siddique here in a money laundering probe related to an alleged Rs 400 -crore slum rehabilitation irregularities case.
State Congress unit spokesperson Sachin Sawant alleged the ruling BJP is using central investigation agencies to "intimidate" Opposition parties.
"Police had submitted a 'B' summary to the Bandra court last year itself stating the complaints received against Siddique and 157 others were false. It is surprising that the state police has found nothing against him and the Enforcement Directorate is conducting raids," Sawant told reporters here.
The ED on Wednesday conducted searches at about seven locations, including on premises of Siddique, a real estate firm and a builder connected to him. Terming the ED action a "clear-cut example of vendetta politics," Sawant said the BJP government is using investigation agencies to "intimidate" the Opposition, but such tactics will yield no results.
In an apparent reference to the searches conducted by the CBI at the homes and offices of former finance minister P Chidambaram's son Karti recently in four cities in a tax probe case, Sawant said, "A pattern can be seen in which the opposition is being harassed and intimidated through the ED or the CBI.
The government is trying all it can to damage the Opposition's image and suppress its voice, he alleged.
"All this will yield no results," he said.
He said such raids are a "tactic" to divert attention from the government's "failure" on various fronts and to scare the opposition. "However, we will not deter and keep raising our voice for people," the Congress leader said.