Barely 48 hours ahead of the biennial MLC polls, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies in Maharashtra, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, claimed that their legislators are allegedly being 'threatened' by the central probe agencies.
"The BJP government at the Centre is abusing the investigation machinery to harass and browbeat the Opposition parties across the country. Now, our MLAs are being called directly and warned that 'they have all information which will be revealed at the appropriate time' to trap them," said Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole.
NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal also said that central agencies have again become active before the polls, but said that all the six MVA candidates shall easily win the MLC elections on Monday (June 20).
Patole added that they have "recorded" the alleged phone-calls by the central agencies and would make them public at the opportune moment.
State BJP President Chandrakant Patil scoffed at the MVA allegations, terming them as virtually admitting defeat before the June 20 elections.
"Patole has prepared a wrong script... After Monday's elections, everything will be clear," said Patil.
Speaking to mediapersons, Patole hit out at the BJP for "crossing all limits in its greed for power" and using weapons like the Enforcement Directorate or the Central Bureau of Investigation to intimidate the Opposition parties and their leaders.
"Wild rumours are being spread that there's a breakdown in the MVA alliance and the government. The CBI and ED and other agencies are being blatantly misused, which is a dangerous trend for our democracy," said Patole.
He accused the BJP of creating hurdles at every step in the MLC polls but asserted that the numbers are in the MVA's favour.
While the Congress needs 12 votes for its second seat, the BJP requires 22 votes for its fifth candidate, but the Congress chief said the BJP is claiming advance victory on the basis of 'money power and threats by central probe agencies'.
"This time, their ploy will not work... The MVA has sufficient strength to ensure victory of all its six candidates," Patole said.
The voting for the 10 MLC seats is scheduled for Monday with the MVA fielding six candidates and the BJP putting up five, making it a keenly-watched election.
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