The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi partners -Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress and Shiv Sena- have slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre for deploying central investigating agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against opposition leaders. NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that the central government has started a new trend of threatening via the ED and CBI, but added that he and his party members are not scared.
His reaction came after the ED conducted raids at the Nagpur and Mumbai homes of the former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with the case filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in May. Deshmukh, in his reaction, said that he has extended all cooperation to the ED and he will continue to do so in the future. “Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh levelled corruption charges against me after he was transferred. I will continue to extend my cooperation to the ED and CBI,” he said.
“ED’s action is out of frustration. It is nothing new to us. Deshmukh had earlier been targeted by some central government agencies. But I don't know what they got out of it. I don't think anything happened. We are not worried about it at all," said Pawar.
State NCP chief and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil alleged that the ED is being misused by BJP. NCP Member of the Parliament (MP) Supriya Sule too blamed BJP for playing vendetta politics.
Meanwhile, state Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant alleged that the central investigating agencies have surrendered their independence before the Narendra Modi government and are being used as political weapons against the opposition. “All three parties must unitely oppose the Modi government’s ploy to defame the Maha Vikas Aghadi government,” he added. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut demanded that the ED should probe the alleged corruption in the acquisition of land for the Ram temple in Ayodhya.