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Sharad Pawar’s Masterstroke to ED and BJP

As many other opposition leaders came under the scrutiny of ED, ahead of assembly elections Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and others in connection with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam case came under ED scanner. The news went viral, but this time it was Pawar of Maharashtra, he said that he would “voluntarily” visit the ED office on September 27 to co-operate with them. And therefore, he decided to go there on his own. That has surprised many, because no one expected that he would take such step. Finally, Maharashtra police commissioner had to go to his house to convince him to do so.

Sharad Pawar is the tallest leader of Maharashtra, you will find him at politics where he is sufficiently successful and was the youngest CM in India at the age of 37 without any formal Godfather but Yashwantrao Chavan has always influenced him. Apart from that you will find him at Cricket. He was ICC Chairman. You will find him in Music. You will find all Cines stars having good relations with him. You will see him as a writer. As a businessman, you will find him at Science and research. You will find him in Agriculture. You will find him as a Social Activist.

He is well known for doing the things he speaks.

Sharad Pawar is always been criticised for having a lot of legal and illegal businesses. Till today despite all the people knowing about his legal and illegal businesses, his name is nowhere on paper. Whenever his name has to come into any scam/scandal/corruption case, the key point/ key person/ key evidence not produced or found.

Now the ED filed the money laundering case against Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and 70 others in the bank scam on the directions of the Bombay High Court. Pawar said he believes in the “Constitution of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar” and hence, will extend full co-operation to the ED and enjoy the probe agency’s “hospitality”. He questioned the timing of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) move, which comes days before the October 21 Assembly polls. Pawar is the second prominent politician from the state to be faced with the ED probe. On August 22, MNS chief Raj Thackeray was grilled by the agency in a money laundering case.

From P Chidambaram to Robert Vadra to Sharad Pawar, key figures linked to those in the Opposition are on the investigating agency’s radar. On the contrary, cases against members of the ruling party or BJP’s alliance partners are pushed on the backburner. This is why when the opposition leaders allege that BJP draws sadistic pleasure in opening cases against opposition leaders it is hard to shake off these allegations. Enforcement Directorate broadened its net in a money laundering case linked to businessman Robert Vadra. The investigating agency sought Vadra’s custody from Delhi High Court, stating that Vadra was uncooperative. However, Vadra’s counsel said that the businessman had cooperated by appearing for summons. The lawyer said his client had answered questions posed to him and added that “not confessing” to the charges did not mean he was being unco-operative in the investigation. A different case, a different counsel, but the story was similar in Chidambaram’s case where the latter’s primary contention was that he has answered all summons and appeared before the agency for questioning.

From P Chidambaram, DK Shivakumar to Sharad Pawar: Why opposition’s allegations of selective action bear substance Ex-finance minister P Chidambaram outside the Delhi court on 5 September. Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who played a key role in keeping BJP out of power for one year in Bengaluru, is also currently lodged in Tihar jail and is being probed for money laundering.

ED’s case against Shivakumar is based on findings of the Income Tax department in 2017-18. The IT probe suggested that Shivakumar was benefitting from a well-crafted network, which was helping him evade tax. The ED issued a notice asking Shivakumar to appear before it on 30 August for questioning. After four days of questioning, the ED arrested Shivakumar on 3 September, saying he had failed to co-operate. Madhya Pradesh’s Congress chief minister Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri was also arrested by the ED in connection to a Rs 354 crore bank fraud case recently. The IT department just ahead of the state elections raided his residence. Sharad Pawar was booked by the Enforcement Directorate in a criminal case in connection with the Rs 25,000-crore scam pertaining to the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB). While these charges, as standalone cases of corruption, may or may not hold enough water to stand the scrutiny of a court in due time, the crackdown only on opposition leaders, and the timing of such actions has often been doubted.

Though Pawar was not surprised that the government has taken this decision. This is a clear-cut indication that he is getting a very good response.

Within hours, NCP workers started rallying on social media, changing their display pictures to those of Sharad Pawar. On the contrary, cases against members of the ruling party or BJP’s alliance partners are pushed on to the back burner. BJP leaders under ED radar include Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa, the Reddy brothers of Bellary, current Human Resource Development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Narayan Rane. All these leaders are facing charges of alleged corruption but ED seems to have made little progress against them. Other names include that of Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is allegedly a key suspect in the water supply scam, and Mukul Roy, who is facing a probe in the Narada ‘sting’ issue, but the trail seems to have gone cold since these leaders moved to the BJP, or so the opposition alleges. Likewise, two TDP leaders CM Ramesh and YS Chowdary, who were earlier being probed for tax regularities, have barely made headlines since they joined BJP in June this year.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
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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