Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) teams, totaling at least four, conducted raids on Thursday at the residence, office, and a business establishment associated with opposition Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA Rajan Salvi. The operation, led by Ratnagiri ACB officer Sushant Chavan, targeted Salvi’s home, where his brother Deepak Salvi and an associate were present.
Searches were also conducted at three locations- Salvi’s residence, his brother’s house, and a hotel.
The ACB team, consisting of approximately 20 investigators, initiated simultaneous search operations at three different locations. The alleged case revolves around ‘benami properties’ and involves wealth amounting to over Rs 3 crore, reportedly exceeding Rajan Salvi’s known sources of income by at least 118 percent, according to an official statement.
Being targeted for not switching to Shinde faction: Salvi
Slamming the raids, Rajan Salvi conveyed to the media that he was being targeted for refusing to yield to political pressures and for not shifting allegiance to the ruling Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
He mentioned that not only was his brother Deepak’s home raided, but his wife Anuja and son Shubham were also booked by the ACB. Salvi issued a warning, stating that the government would have to bear the consequences of its actions.
“You can book me in any case, arrest and jail me, but you cannot target my family members in this manner. We are being pressured, but whatever happens, even if they throw me in jail, I will not succumb. The people of the state will teach you a lesson,” Salvi vowed.
He mentioned that the party President and former Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray, gave him a call and conveyed his complete support during the ongoing crisis.
‘Arrest me, throw me in jail’: Salvi
Having been questioned by the ACB on at least five occasions previously, Rajan Salvi expressed his frustration on Wednesday, declaring that he was weary of the repeated summons and interrogations by the police agency.
He announced that, moving forward, he would not respond to any ACB summonses or participate in their office interrogations. He challenged them, stating, “Take whatever action, arrest me, throw me in jail.”
Shiv Sena cries vendetta by probe agencies
The ACB’s actions followed the arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of a close aide to SS-UBT former minister and MLA Aditya Thackeray earlier on Thursday in Mumbai.
Aditya Thackeray, Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut, MP, MLA Vaibhav Naik, former Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, and other leaders criticised the state government for selectively targeting their party leaders through the misuse of investigative agencies.
Raut asserted that both Rajan Salvi and MP Rajan Vichare are being pursued by central agencies due to their refusal to align with the ruling Shiv Sena. He cautioned that the people of the state are closely observing the situation and will respond appropriately in the elections.