An emotional Bhujbal says that he has become a victim of vendetta politics.
Senior NCP leader and former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal’s morale has hit an all-time low after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case registered against him in the Maharashtra Sadan case. Bhujbal broke down and wept in court and said that his health is deteriorating. He was keen to revive his political career prior to the 2019 state election in the state. However the road ahead doesn’t look smooth for Bhujbal after his arrest. Ever since the BJP government has come to power in the state, it has ordered for a probe into the various scams in which the Bhujbal’s family members name has cropped up.
Bhujbal said, “I am not feeling well. I become an aged person and senior citizen I have not done anything wrong. Is it a crime to do good job? We have built one of the best state sadans in Delhi.”
On the other hand NCP President Sharad Pawar said that Bhujbal’s arrest is a political vendetta and he is innocent. He said, “We will seek legal assistance to bail him out of this crisis. The files pertaining to Maharashtra Sadan was cleared by several other ministers and it is not right to blame only Bhujbal for irregularities. He has been made a scapegoat in this case. The NCP will continue to support him.”
Pawar had appealed to party workers to refrain from protesting after the arrest of Bhujbal. Despite this Bhujbal supporters blocked the busy Mumbai-Agra National Highway in Nashik district and staged a protest against his arrest even as several commercial establishments remained closed in some areas in the city.
Both the Houses of Maharashtra Legislature witnessed uproar with opposition Congress and NCP members protesting against the arrest of Bhujbal alleging that it was “vendetta politics” of the BJP-led Government.
While the Legislative Assembly was adjourned four times and the opposition members walked out of the house, the Council was adjourned for the day following ruckus over the issue.
BJP leader Manohar Joshi said, “I will not like to comment about the case right now as it will take some time to unveil the truth. Late Bal Thackeray had high regards for Bhujbal when he was in Shiv Sena. However after these scams every party will keep a safe distance from Bhujbal. If Bhujbal is proved guilty then action must be taken against him as per law.”
NCP leader Praful Patel said that it’s not fair to only target Bhujbal. He said “It’s absolutely unfortunate and this is not the right way to treat a leader like Bhujbal. A procedure has to be followed and if the judiciary pronounces any person guilty then law will take its own course. Chhagan Bhujbal is a senior leader and he has not gone missing. He has always cooperated with the ED officials. Even raids have taken place in his residence. It’s a political vendetta against Bhujbal and NCP condemns it.”
On the other hand Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis rejected opposition’s allegations of pursuing political vendetta in the arrest of Bhujbal. He said, “This is not a case of revenge politics. We will not extend any help in hiding scams and scamsters will be punished.”
“The ED is an independent body. There is no question of pressuring anybody,” he said, dismissing opposition charges on the issue.