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ED Action Against Praful Patel Makes Some Opposition Leaders Shiver

The ED’s attachment action against NCP leader Praful Patel’s property in Mumbai’s elite Worli area in an alleged money laundering case has led to apprehensions that similar steps can be initiated against some more opposition leaders.  The property in which Patel has a sprawling residence is charged to be linked with deceased underworld don Iqbal Mirchi. Earlier, too, Patel had been summoned by ED in connection with the same property. It is not just a coincidence that the action against Patel was taking place in Mumbai when Congress president Sonia Gandhi was facing ED in New Delhi, NCP circles point out. It is an open secret that several leaders of different political parties reside in palatial properties in Mumbai.  Fear is expressed that some of them could find themselves in the ED net sooner than later. Current political developments in Maharashtra have fuelled speculation that this is an attempt to pressurise them to align with the ruling dispensation or else face action. In the recent past, former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, former BJP minister Eknath Khadse and many others have been summoned by ED for questioning. Two NCP bigwigs, Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, are in custody for a long time. Malik is also charged to be linked with underworld boss Dawood Ibrahim in a property deal in Mumbai.