Maha Vikas Aghadi allies NCP and Congress on Tuesday termed the Enforcement Directorate’s move to file a criminal case against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh as the politics of revenge and said the action was aimed at diverting the people’s attention from “failure” of the Modi government in tackling the pandemic. The NCP accused the BJP of trying to defame the state government as well as the Sharad Pawar-led party.
The ED filed the case under the anti-money laundering law in an alleged “bribery” case after studying a CBI FIR that was filed against Deshmukh late last month. The Bombay High Court had earlier directed the CBI to conduct a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) against Deshmukh after former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh raised allegations of corruption against the senior NCP leader.
Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister and NCP’s national spokesperson Nawab Malik on Tuesday said Deshmukh, a senior NCP leader, will cooperate in the probe. The Congress, which is one of the constituents of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government besides the NCP, dubbed the ED’s move as an attempt to cover up the Modi government’s “failure” to manage the pandemic by diverting the public attention.
“Right from Singh’s allegations to the filing of the case by the ED, it is all politically motivated and aimed at defaming him (Deshmukh) by misusing power. It is clear that the BJP is playing politics using the CBI, ED and other Central agencies,” Malik said in a statement. The ED filed the case with a “political motive” to defame the state government and the NCP, he said.
“Whatever the legal aspects, Deshmukh ji will cooperate in the probe,” he added. In a series of tweets, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant alleged the ED case reflects the “dangerous politics” being pursued by the Modi government which is “detrimental” to democracy.
“..It’s an attempt to cover up Modi govt’s failure to handle Corona crisis & divert public’s attention, as well as political revenge,” Sawant tweeted. Sawant said the action has been taken based on the “lies” of Singh.
“Why the ED has come into picture when there was no money transaction. Actions of Central agencies have become a joke,” he said. BJP leader Kirit Somiaya tweeted, “#ED registered #ECIR against #AnilDeshmukh and his secretaries #Kundan & #Palande in #VazeVasooli Case. It’s Rs 100 crore money laundering, parking scam money by Deshmukh & Group. #AnilParab is next in line”.
Somaiya was apparently referring to Maharashtra Transport Minister and Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab. Suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze had last month claimed Parab had asked him to collect money from contractors.
Parab had denied the allegations.