NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned MNS party chief Raj Thackeray in connection with its money laundering probe in the IL&FS alleged payment default case, officials said Monday.
They said the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief has been asked to appear before the investigating officer of the case on August 22.
They added that Unmesh Joshi, son of former state chief minister and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, has also been summoned in the same case.
Joshi is supposed to appear on Monday or Tuesday, they said.
Reacting to it, MNS spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande said, "Raj Thackeray created a sensation during the Lok Sabha poll campaign earlier this year. It had a significant impact on people and to avoid a similar challenge ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections, the ED has issued the notice."
"It is a case of political vendetta," he alleged while talking to reporters here.
The Thane unit of the party warned people and said they should “venture out their own risk” on August 22, the day when Thackeray is supposed to appear before the ED.
All the opposition parties, including the Congress, the NCP and Raju Shetti’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, have extended support to Thackeray even as CM Devendra Fadnavis said anyone who tries to break the law will face strong action.
The agency is probing Thackeray's involvement in the case in connection with the IL&FS group's loan equity investment in a company called Kohinoor CTNL.
The company was promoted by Joshi.
"The Kohinoor deal is very old and Thackeray exited it long time back. I wonder why the Centre has come up with the inquiry notice so late," Deshpande said.
He alleged that the ED has "become a tool to suppress our voice".
"If the government takes any action with prejudice against Raj Thackeray, we will protest on streets," he added.
Thackeray and Joshi had jointly bid for some assets after creating a consortium but later the MNS supremo quit.
The ED, it is understood, wants to look into the entire transaction and hence has summoned the two.
The ED had last week filed a charge sheet in the case too.