Care is being taken to ensure political opponents are “defamed” using the central agencies, Pawar, whose party shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra, said at a press conference here.
“The Centre has been continuously using some institutions, like the CBI, Income Tax department, Enforcement Directorate, Narcotics Control Bureau. All these agencies are being misused for political purposes,” he claimed.
His remarks came days after the I-T department raided some entities linked to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
Referring to it, Sharad Pawar said personnel of the agencies have been conducting raids for the sixth day on Wednesday.
Referring to the case of former Maharashtra home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh, who is facing probe by central agencies on multiple charges, the party chief said Deshmukh had to step down (as home minister) following allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Singh had alleged that Deshmukh wanted police officers to collect Rs 100 crore monthly from bars and hotels in Mumbai.
“The one who levelled the charges (Param Bir Singh) is untraceable. But, it never happens that a responsible officer makes allegations against a responsible minister. But, Anil Deshmukh resigned and there are a string of allegations against him. And he (Singh) has fled. This is the difference,” the NCP president said, coming out in defence of his party leader.
Param Bir Singh has been booked in multiple cases of extortion. He is also facing a case under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act registered in April this year on a complaint lodged by a police inspector.
“His (Deshmukh’s) house was raided for the fifth time. I don’t understand what the agencies got after going there for the fifth time. But they (the agencies) have created a record,” Sharad Pawar quipped.
Taking a dig at the BJP, he said the party leaders are the forefront to defend the central agencies.
The NCP chief further said in his 54-year legislative career, he handled administrative responsibilities for nearly 26 years and had good relations with the administration when he was in the opposition or in the government.
“We never showed arrogance of power,” the former Union minister said.
He also targeted the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), recently conducted a number of raids including on some high-profile people, saying the Mumbai Police’s Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) has done a better job than the central agency.
“The state agency does its job with honesty, but it appears that the central agency does its job only to give their record to the Centre,” he said.
Apart from the recent drugs bust onboard a cruise liner off the Mumbai coast, that led to the arrest of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, NCB’s Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede last year investigated a drug case linked to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and several other matters related to narcotics involving high-profile people.
Sharad Pawar said he also got to know about “other incidents” during Wankhede’s tenure at the airport. However, the NCP chief did not elaborate further, saying he does not have full information about this.
In his earlier tenure, Wankhede, an IRS officer, had served at the Mumbai airport.
Talking about the recent killing of four farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district, Sharad Pawar said, “From the very first day, the ruling party (BJP) took a stand that there is no truth in this (killing of farmers). The Uttar Pradesh chief minister cannot absolve himself of the responsibility of not taking action against the crime.”
Eight people, including four farmers, died in violence in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3.
The farmers died after being knocked down by vehicles reportedly carrying BJP workers, after which an angry mob allegedly lynched some people in these vehicles.
On Saturday night, Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was arrested by the police in Lakhimpur Kheri in connection with the October 3 violence.
Pawar also demanded the resignation of Union minister Ajay Mishra.