'Attempt to malign will boomerang'

Updated: Sep 27, 2019, 07:44 IST | Hemal Ashar

NCP questions intent and timing of ED notice against Sharad Pawar even as the supremo offers to go to Enforcement Directorate voluntarily

Sharad Pawar addresses a press conference in Mumbai. Pic/PTI
Sharad Pawar addresses a press conference in Mumbai. Pic/PTI

Sharad Pawar has made a statement telling the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that "I am your mehmaan. I am your guest. I accept your hospitality," said Nawab Malik, Mumbai-based national spokesperson of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as the Maratha strongman claimed he would visit the ED office without any formal summons, today.

"The ED is being misused and they (the BJP) may deny this till they go blue in the face but this is a politically motivated move. It is an attempt to bring the Opposition into disrepute. But it has instead led people to question the timing of this move. It is an indicator that the public rallies held by Sharad Pawar have hit their mark and made the BJP nervous," Malik added.

Clyde Crasto, state spokesperson of NCP too endorsed the nervous sentiment, saying, "Why is there no action against other party leaders? We see a link — however tenuous —between the BJP and the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-Operative Bank (PMB). Any action against the BJP persons connected to the bank?" (Rajneet Singh, son of Mulund BJP MLA Tara Singh is bank director).

Crasto claimed that the ruling party was sensing that "the tide would turn in these elections, so what do you do? Distract people from real problems and use these gimmicks." The NCP has claimed that these actions will have a boomerang effect in the Vidhan Sabha polls. "The constant drum roll of abrogation of Section 370 in Kashmir by the BJP is drowning out problems caused by recent floods and price rise, which are very close to the common man," NCP leaders quoted chief Sharad Pawar.

ED may not allow Pawar in

Party leaders also pointed to a "pattern" where the ED summoned certain persons. "There was nothing in five years and suddenly so many questions are raised in two days?" the spokesperson questioned.

The NCP chief, according to party workers, has told them to desist accompanying him to the ED office. Reports, however, claimed that the ED may not allow Pawar to enter the office voluntarily to "give information" related to the alleged R25,000-crore Maharashtra Cooperative bank-related scam.

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