Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has written a letter to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, claiming he was approached by “certain people” who asked him to assist in toppling the MVA government in Maharashtra so that the state could be forced into mid-term elections. In the letter to Naidu, who is also chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Raut said central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) were “systematically targeting” Shiv Sena leaders, after the party formed government in Maharashtra with the NCP and Congress after severing ties with its old ally BJP. Raut requested Naidu to take note of the “abuse of power” and alleged harassment of Rajya Sabha members, and said the vice president should also speak up and take action in this connection.
The Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson wrote the letter to Naidu on Tuesday and also sent its copies to leaders like Congress's Rahul Gandhi and NCP president Sharad Pawar. “About a month ago, I was approached by certain people and was told to assist them in toppling the state government in Maharashtra. They wanted me to be instrumental in such an endeavour so that the state could be forced into a mid-term election,” Raut alleged. The Rajya Sabha member further said he refused to be part of the “clandestine” agenda, and claimed he was told that his refusal would lead to him “paying a heavy price”. “…I urge you to not just take note of the abuse of power to perpetuate intimidation and harassment of members of the Rajya Sabha, but also to speak up and take action,” Raut said in the letter to Naidu.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi on Wednesday, Raut also accused the central agencies like the ED of becoming part of a “criminal syndicate of the BJP". He charged the ED with working on the directions of “some people”. Raut expressed confidence that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government will complete its five-year tenure.