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Maha Transport Minister Parab now summoned by ED, Sena slams move

In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sent a notice to senior Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab.

Maha Transport Minister Parab now summoned by ED, Sena slams move
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Mumbai

Parab has been issued summons to appear before the ED on August 31, ostensibly in connection with the ongoing probe into the corruption allegations levelled by dismissed former Mumbai cop Sachin Vaze. 

Confirming the development, Parab said late this evening that he received the ED notice but it has only sought his appearance on Tuesday. 

"There is no reference to any case matter... I shall take legal opinion and do the needful," Parab said. 

Reacting sharply, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut gave his 'Congratulation' for the ED's anticipated action, and said the chronology of events should be considered. 

"Shabbaas! As expected, as soon as the 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra' (of Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane) ended, Anil Parab has been served an ED notice. The government above (Centre) has got down to work," he said. 

Hinting at the Bharatiya Janata Party's role, he said "epicenter of the earthquake is in Ratnagiri" - the Konkan district of which Parab is the Guardian Minister - but said Sena would fight the legal matter as per the laws. 

The ED move comes in the wake of demands by the BJP in the past four months demanding action for the corruption allegations levelled against Parab by the sacked cop Vaze. 

However, Leader of Opposition in the Council, Pravin Darekar denied Raut's contentions and said the ED notice cannot be linked with the recent political upeahvals witnessed during Rane's 'Yatra' since  it may have been triggered due to some complaint lodged with the central probe agency. 

In a series of dramatic developments during the 'Yatra', Rane was arrested last Tuesday (August 24) in Ratnagiri, taken to Mahad court in Raigad which sent  him to 10 days magisterial custody, but later granted bail the same night. 

Subsequently, the BJP had raised questions of Parab's involvement in the entire arrest drama episode and sought a CBI probe after a video clip of the minister speaking with someone on phone went viral. 

Undeterred by the interruptions, Rane resumed his 'Yatra' on Friday in the coastal Konkan even as a bitter verbal war raged between between the two ex-allies, Shiv Sena-BJP, though the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance tackled the challenge unitedly. 

Rane continued to target the Sena and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray while Raut questioned the BJP why it is "shielding" the Rane family with top Central and state leaders throwing their weight behind the Union Minister. 

During the 'Yatra', Rane also told the local media persons that several MVA leaders are on the radar of the ED and the CBI, indicating tough times ahead for the Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress regime. 

The three parties have repeatedly slammed the BJP government at the Centre for misusing various central probe agencies like the ED, the CBI, and the NIA to harass the leaders of Opposition-ruled states, including Maharashtra.

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