MUMBAI: The inquiry initiated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is aimed at plugging financial resources ahead of elections, Raj Thackeray has said while accusing the government of acting with vengeance. He also said that his party will contest the elections with full vigour and announced two candidates.
“The inquiry by ED is purely aimed at the elections. Once the inquiry is launched, the industrialists and donors withdraw. They start avoiding contact. They even avoid phone calls. This plugs the financial resources of the party,” Thackeray said as he addressed party workers and aspiring candidates at the MIG club at Bandra on Monday.
Thackeray, who had avoided public appearance after he was grilled by the ED on August 22, said that he would address his first election rally on October 5.
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“I shall speak the things that I avoided all these days,” Thackeray said while announcing his rally.
The MNS chief also announced the induction of Shiv Sena corporator from Nashik, Dilip Datir and Narendra, the son of Dhule farmer Dharma Patil who had committed suicide at state secretariat over the issue of compensation for his land.
“Both of them will contest assembly election as MNS candidates. We will contest the Assembly elections and shall also win. The candidates and the seats on which we shall contest will be announced in the next couple of days,” Thackeray said.
Though the exact number of seats MNS will contest is not clear yet, the party sources indicated that it may be around 125 seats.
There is no clarity on whether the party will enter into any tie-ups with other parties or alliances, though party leaders claim they would win sufficient numbers to emerge as ‘king-maker’ in case the other two main alliances fail to get the majority.
Thackeray had extensively campaigned against the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with his famous “Laav Re Video” (Play The Video) slug line at public meetings though his party didn’t contest the election. In August, he was summoned by the ED for questioning in an alleged case of financial irregularities in one of his business ventures, along with his other partners.