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Raj Thackeray to appear before ED, appeals supporters for calm

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray will appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which has issued him a summons in the IL&FS scam probe, the party said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Thackeray said he would "honour" the summons, and appealed his workers to maintain "peace and harmony" and not to resort to violent protests.

The party also withdrew the bandh (general strike) it had announced in neighbouring Thane district on Thursday.

"Right since the time of inception of MNS there have been innumerable cases against you all and me. Each time we all have honoured the notices sent by investigating agencies and the court of law. This time too we all must honour the summons sent by ED," Thackeray said in an appeal to MNS workers through Twitter.

"I earnestly request that peace and harmony be maintained on 22nd of August...no harm or damage should come upon any public property and the common man should not suffer in any way. No party worker should come or assemble near the ED office," he said.

"What I have to say, I will say at the appropriate time," the MNS chief added.

Thackeray held a meeting with party office-bearers at his residence here earlier in the day.

The ED is probing alleged irregularities related to loans and equity investment worth over Rs 450 crore by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company, which is developing Kohinoor Square tower in Mumbai's Dadar area.

Unmesh Joshi, former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi's son, was summoned in the case and his statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on Monday.

The MNS had earlier termed the ED notices -- which came days after Thackeray's meetings with opposition leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee to muster support for his demand to jettison electronic voting machines -- a political vendetta.

Kohinoor CTNL was formed by Unmesh Joshi, Thackeray and his close aide and builder Rajan Shirodkar to purchase and develop the land of the defunct Kohinoor Mill.

According to media reports, IL&FS infused Rs 225 crore via equity in 2003. In 2008, it sold its shares back to the company for only Rs 90 crore, at a loss of Rs 135 crore. In the same year, Thackeray sold off his stake.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 20 2019. 19:20 IST
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