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Pawar’s ED visit plan just political drama: Patil

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Dubbing Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s proposed visit to the Enforcement Directorate’s office in Mumbai as “high political drama”, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State president Chandrakant Patil on Friday said it was the erstwhile Congress-led government that had first launched a probe into the Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank scam.

Mr. Patil rubbished the NCP’s allegations that the BJP was pursuing a political vendetta against Mr. Pawar. “I ought to remind the NCP that it was their own [Congress-NCP] government running on the advice of Sharad Pawar that had first launched a probe in the MSC Bank case,” he said

It was the then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan who had initiated an inquiry into the case by setting up a committee as he had suspected some irregularities, Mr. Patil said.

He said the Reserve Bank of India then appointed an administrator on the bank and that it was only later that an individual had moved the Bombay High Court on grounds that no proper inquiry was being initiated. “It was on the court’s direction that an FIR was recently registered. So where is the question of the State government acting in a vindictive manner? Then the ED, an autonomous agency, registered a case on its own as the amount involved in the scam was above ₹100 crore,” Mr. Patil said.

He said the NCP was trying to garner people’s sympathy and support by spreading false propaganda that the government was behind the probe. “But people are smart as they know that when [senior NCP leader] Chhagan Bhujbal was arrested, there were no protests on part of the NCP workers,” Mr. Patil said, calling the NCP’s protests “forced” and without much support from the people.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 8:17:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pawars-ed-visit-plan-just-political-drama-patil/article29534833.ece

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