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Congress accuses BJP of targeting NCP chief Sharad Pawar ahead of Maharashtra polls


ANI General News
The Congress party on Friday came out in support of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, who was scheduled to visit Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in connection with Maharashtra State Co-operative fraud case.
While speaking to ANI in New Delhi, Congress leader Kapil Sibal accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of attempting to muzzle the voice of opposition in the country.
"Pawar is a true Maratha and he will fight back like Shivaji fought invaders. Earlier, the BJP used to say Congress-free India but now they want opposition free India. They just want to create an atmosphere of fear among the people by blaming the opposition leaders and sending ED to their houses," he said.
"My main concern is that in future the BJP may also want to change the Constitution, " the Congress leader added.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also came out in support of Pawar and accused the BJP of targeting the NCP chief when the state Assembly elections are just around the corner.
"The notice has been sent to Sharad Pawar by the ED. This shows that how BJP is misusing its power. When he voluntarily agreed to answer ED's questions, the leaders of the government suddenly changed their stand and the news came that the investigation will be done after the elections. This shows BJP is targeting the opposition during the election time. These things weaken democracy. The government had enough time to take legal action against him but they specifically chose election time," he said while speaking to ANI in the national capital.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Pawar on Friday skipped his visit to the Ballard Estate situated Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in connection with the money laundering case.
"I will not visit the Enforcement Directorate office for now. Mumbai Commissioner of Police and Joint Commissioner met me and requested me not to go so that the law and order situation remains under control," Pawar told reporters outside his residence.
The Commissioner, along with the JCP, had visited the residence of the NCP leader earlier in the day.
The ED on Monday had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report in connection with the Maharashtra State Co-operative (MSC) Bank fraud case against Sharad Pawar, his nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar along with 70 other officials of MSC Bank.
It is alleged that the bank had sanctioned several loans in a fraudulent way to workers and the directors of local co-operative sugar factories, spinning mills and other processing units, and also to the bank's then top executives. The scam is pegged at Rs 5000 crore.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 3:38 PM IST

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