Mumbai, June 27: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday termed the Enforcement Directorate's summons issued to him as a "conspiracy" to stop him from fighting against their political opponents, and said he will not be able to appear before the agency on Tuesday as he has to attend a meeting in Alibaug.
Raut, who is the Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson, also said that even if he is killed, he will not resort to the "Guwahati route" taken by rebel MLAs from Maharashtra. The ED has summoned Rajya Sabha member Raut on Tuesday for questioning in a money laundering probe linked to the re-development of a Mumbai 'chawl' and other related financial transactions involving his wife and friends, officials said.
The development comes as the Shiv Sena battles rebellion from a group of its MLAs, putting a question mark on the future of Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Rebel Shiv Sena legislators, who were first taken to Surat, are now camping in Guwahati.
Raut in a tweet said, "I just came to know that the ED has summoned me. Good! There are big political developments in Maharashtra. We, Balasaheb's Shivsainiks are fighting a big battle. This is a conspiracy to stop me. Even if you behead me, I won't take the Guwahati route."
"Arrest me ! Jai Hind!" he added. In his tweet in Marathi, he also tagged BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis. Later, talking to reporters, Raut said, "I cannot go tomorrow as I have to attend a public meeting in Alibaug, and I will attend it."
The parliamentarian said he is a "Shiv Sena tiger" and the executive editor of a fierce newspaper like the (Sena mouthpiece) 'Saamana'. He asserted that such actions cannot weaken him mentally.
Raut said if there are orders from the BJP leaders, they (the probe agency sleuths) can arrest him. Sanjay Raut's brother MLA Sunil Raut claimed the ED summons were to scare the parliamentarian as he has been opposing the BJP.
In April, the ED provisionally attached assets worth more than Rs 11.15 crore of Sanjay Raut's wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of this investigation.