Mumbai

Pawar accuses BJP of being vindictive, misusing power

Who will have the last laugh?Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar and party leader Sunil Tatkare address a press conference in Mumbai.— Photo: PTI

Who will have the last laugh?Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar and party leader Sunil Tatkare address a press conference in Mumbai.— Photo: PTI  

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Multiple agencies probing one allegation against one family is unprecedented, says NCP chief

day after the arrest of former Nationalist Congress Party MP Sameer Bhujbal by the Enforcement Directorate on money laundering charges, party chief Sharad Pawar accused the ruling BJP government of misusing political power. Mr Pawar said the action against the Bhujbal family smacked of “vindictiveness.”

The BJP, however, denied that the government had any role in the ED’s action. The Aam Aadmi Party, meanwhile, questioned Mr Pawar’s statement. The party pointed out that the probe against the Bhujbals was a High Court-monitored probe.

Blatant

Mr Pawar, who has defended Bhujbal at party platforms in the past, said, “I have seen governments other than the Congress and the NCP work. I have observed the Shiv Sena-BJP government in 1995. But I have not come across such a blatant misuse of power in the past 40 years in Maharashtra’s politics.”

Pointing out that the Bhujbal family was being targeted, Mr Pawar said, “Like the Centre, the State also has a Group of Ministers which takes decisions collectively. What is being shown as Bhujbal’s decision is actually the decision of the Cabinet.”

Questioning the probes against the Bhujbals by the State Anti-Corruption Bureau and the ED, Mr Pawar said it was “unprecedented” that multiple agencies were probing one allegation against one family. “It means that they want to continue investigating till they get their desired result.”

Referring to BJP MP Kirit Somaiya’s sustained campaign against the Bhujbals without naming him, he said “Those complaining in Maharashtra Sadan case against NCP leaders belong to one political party, and they have repeatedly talked about putting Opposition leaders in jail to pressure the investigating agencies.”

Mr Pawar also said Mr Bhujbal should co-operate with the investigation and come out clean.

Reacting to Pawar’s allegations, State BJP Chief Raosaheb Danve said, “There is no question of vendetta politics and the BJP government pressuring investigating agencies. This is a court-monitored probe. They [Bhujbal family] should face investigation.”

Aam Aadmi Party’s Anjali Damania, who had filed the petitions alleging corruption in the Maharashtra Sadan construction as well as the irrigation scam, said she was shocked to hear Mr Pawar accusing the BJP government of vendetta. “I thought action by ED and ACB was due to direction of High Court,” she tweeted.

‘Arrest unfortunate’

NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, who reached Washington DC on Monday night to attend a three-day conference organised by the US Congress, told reporters he was being targeted because he works for the backward classes through Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad.

“Maharashtra Sadan has been constructed after the Infrastructure Committee headed by the Chief Minister took the decision. New Maharashtra Sadan is a good building, and even the present government’s officers admit that is a well-made structure. But BJP MP Kirit Somaiya has been making repeated allegations, and filed a PIL. And then suddenly they said there is a scam. There is no scam. My son and nephew legitimately run a construction business, and other companies have legitimately bought equity into their companies.”

Asked for the reasons why he was being targeted, he said, “Reasons could be that politically I am fighter and the other could be that I work for the uplift of backward classes through the Mahtma Phule Samata Parishad. I am being victimised. But I am confident that I will get justice.”



State BJP Chief Raosaheb Danve says it is a court-monitored probe, no question

of vendetta politics



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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 4:08:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/pawar-accuses-bjp-of-being-vindictive-misusing-power/article8190386.ece

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