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ED questions Raj Thackeray’s confidante

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday interrogated Nitin Sardesai, a confidante of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray and a former legislator, official sources said.

Sardesai’s probe by the ED came a fortnight after Thackeray was summoned and subjected to nearly eight hours grilling on August 22.

Both Sardesai and Thackeray’s questioning pertained to alleged money-laundering and suspected irregularities in the loans extended to Kohinoor CTNL by the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (ILFS).

As per indications, Sardesai – who was at the agency’s office for over six hours on Thursday – may be summoned again by the ED for further interrogation.

Earlier, the ED had also questioned Thackeray’s partners – Unmesh Joshi, son of former Lok Sabha Speaker and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi – and Rajan Shirodkar, sending shockwaves in state political circles.

All major Opposition parties including Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Aam Aadmi Party, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and others had slammed the ED move to summon Raj Thackeray terming it as “political vendetta and witch-hunt” ahead of the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections.

Even Raj Thackeray’s estranged cousin, ruling ally Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray had indirectly supported him, saying “nothing would emerge” from the ED actions.