“Just one family is being targeted for political gains.”
Mumbai : Accusing the State as well as the Central government of purposefully targeting the opposition leaders in corruption cases, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said he has not seen such “blatant use of power” against the opposition in the last 40 years.
Pawar was replying to questions at a press conference here at the party headquarters on Tuesday, a day after former MP and NCP leader Samir Bhujbal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.
“I have seen several governments in the state including the Shiv Sena-BJP government in 1995. But, I have not seen such a blatant use of power against the opposition in the last 40 years,” Pawar said adding that the government is setting dangerous precedent.
Pawar, however, said that Bhujbal family should co-operate with the investigation and come out clean of all charges. He also appealed his party workers to keep calm and work for the drought-hit people of the state.
“This is not a matter of protests. There are more important issues concerning the people of the state that need urgent attention at the moment,” the veteran politician said.
While putting up a defence for Bhujbal, the 75-year-old former union minister said that he has worked for many years at the Centre and that decisions are taken by a Group of Ministers and not by a single person.
“Like the Centre, the state also has a group of ministers who take decisions collectively. What is being shown as (Chhagan) Bhhujbal’s decision, is actually the decision of the cabinet,” he said.
“It is unprecedented that three Central agencies investigate one allegation. It means that they want to continue to keep investigating till they get what they want. There is just one family that is being targeted here for political gains,” he added.
Replying to yet another query, Pawar said that the NCP will not be intimidated by such acts and that it will continue to raise issues concerning people.
“If anybody wants to misuse power against us, we are ready for it. There is nothing to worry about. They can accuse as many people of indulging in corruption as they want to. Tomorrow they may take my name as well. Instead of getting intimidated, we will undeterrently continue to focus on issues concerning people,” Pawar said.
Meanwhile, clarifying the government’s stand over the issue, revenue minister Eknath Khadse said, “The government has not taken action on the former NCP MP Sameer Bhujbal but it is Enforcement Directorate (ED) who on the basis of proofs arrested Bhujbal. There is no political vendetta in this issue.”
“To arrest Bhujbal was not the government’s decision and if they feel that government has taken decision and that too wrong, they can appeal before the court,” added Khadse.
State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Madhav Bhandari too refuted Pawar’s allegation of vendetta politics being pursued by the State government. In a statement issued here, he stated that the action against the Bhujbals is in consonance with the law and that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken action on the basis of the public complaints.
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