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Chhagan Bhujbal: The battle goes on

These days, many speculations are made in the name of Chhagan Bhujbal that he is leaving NCP, but the truth is that in spite of being victimised he remains in the party. Chhagan Bhujbal was not only kept in jail but he was humiliated and misbehaved by the cops on several occasion. He was booked in a money laundering case but recently bailed out by the court. Bhujbal who was arrested in March 2016, had to pay a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh to secure his bail. Certain conditions were imposed on Bhujbal’s release on bail, including that he will appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), whenever summoned for questioning. Citing ailing health, Bhujbal had approached the high court in January this year seeking bail on the ground that his custody was not required any more as the chargesheet has already been filed. Bhujbal and his nephew Sameer Bhujbal used to channel money to illegal companies owned by them, the agency had alleged. Sameer was also arrested in the case and is in jail. He has also filed a bail plea in the High Court.

The politician who has come a long way, from being a one-time vegetable vendor to one of the most powerful politicians in the state, was put behind bars to face dishonor. The Maharashtra Sadan scam, the Kalina library land case and embezzlement of funds and misuse of property in the Mumbai Educational Trust case together may prove too much for the feisty OBC leader to battle. He had to answer for alleged kickbacks in the public works department and for amassing several properties. This time the finger points to Bhujbal helping his whole family. The state Anti-Corruption Bureau has even named him in its FIR. After enjoying a long run in politics, Bhujbal may have been looking forward to spending his evenings listening to his favourite old Hindi film songs. But he now has to clean up the mess created by his family members. A man who got Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray arrested, failed to rein in his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer.

Bhujbal who lived on his terms, loved to live the way he wants, very filmy way. Once he had gone in for a complete image makeover. He had gone under the knife, to get a wrinkle free neck and face. He opted for workout, at the same time gathered many riches through various treaties. Rumors began to circulate of Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer being involved in corrupt deals, and slowly even Pankaj’s name cropped up. Earlier, in 2004, Bhujbal had to step down as Deputy Chief Minister and lost his reputation in the multi-crore Abdul Karim Telgi Fake stamp paper case. Bhujbal was then told by mentor Sharad Pawar to control his nephew or else Bhujbal’s credibility and career both would be ruined. But we all know blood is thicker than water, especially in politics where it has been proven time and again.

Bhujbal was arrogant and thankless; he was never in good books of people or his people. NCP as a party has allowed its leaders to rule independently in their constituencies, to treat them as their own fiefdoms -Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule, Sunil Tatkare, Chhagan Bhujbal to name just a few. They were taught a harsh lesson in the last several elections, but these leaders have received far too much patronage from their mentor. However, the once crafty Pawar could not see his own kin and party men ruining the party he formed. When he returned after the Telgi scam, Bhujbal felt a bit abbreviated, let down by his mentor, and started getting nostalgic. He realised the late Bal Thackeray was the only true leader who understood him. Leaders like Ajit Pawar grew stronger in the NCP and they baited Bhujbal for going soft on the Shiv Sena. Finally in 2014, when Devendra Fadanvis launched an attack on NCP’s corruption, Pawar sacrificed Bhujbal over Ajit Pawar. Bhujbal is a lonely man today. He fell out with Uddhav Thackeray and also lost a friend in Raj after the arrest of Thackeray Sr. Bhujbal got immense support from the citizenry, though many from his own party did not support the arrest. It is a known fact that Pawar and Thackeray were friends and Pawar politically helped the Sena and Thackeray. Today Uddhav is completely driven by Pawar. Pawar indeed supported Bhujbal too last time when he was in trouble, but not this time. Worse, his rivals within the NCP want him finished.

Bhujbal’s battle is a lonely and hard one. He undervalued Kirit Somaiya and Anjali Damania and their allegations. Bhujbal took for granted that he could not be touched, but he had to face the music. The politician who has come a long way, from being a one-time vegetable vendor to one of the most powerful politicians in the state, faced big troubles and left out today. There was a time when he was feared in the corridors of power. Shiv Sena leader and former state chief minister Manohar Joshi dreaded the very sight of Bhujbal when he became the leader of the opposition after breaking away from the Sena. On his way up the political ladder Bhujbal helped many, but after moving to the top he forgot it gets very lonely out there. He really has no true friends. He distanced from Shiv Sainiks, after he left the Sena. The rivalries he made because of his failure to rein in his nephew and son have left Bhujbal alone to fight a long and staining battle. However, Bhujbal has always fought back in the past; he will do it yet again. Bhujbal’s son Pankaj met Uddhav Thackeray, the meeting came five days after Chhagan Bhujbal, was granted bail. There are possibilities of Chhagan Bhujbal shifting his political ideology. NCP is paying prices for the utter failure by Congress led government in Maharashtra. Once these turncoats decimated the parties they were in, now they are out to repeat the same with BJP and Sena with their presence that is inevitably going to happen with admitting them back to their fold.


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Dr Vaidehi Tamanhttp://www.vaidehisachin.com
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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