Two days after he announced that he would visit the ED office in south Mumbai on his own, Pawar on Friday afternoon cancelled it at the last moment on request of senior police officers who feared law and order situation.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday took a veiled dig at rival Sharad Pawar, a day after the NCP chief called off his voluntary visit to the office of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here in connection with the state Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam case. Addressing Sena workers, Uddhav recalled the arrest of his father and Sena founder late Bal Thackeray in the year 2000 by the then Congress-NCP government, and said Maharashtra doesn’t appreciate politics of “revenge and vengeance”. He said nobody had visited the Sena chief requesting him to not go to court so as to prevent any law and order situation.
Two days after he announced that he would visit the ED office in south Mumbai on his own, Pawar on Friday afternoon cancelled it at the last moment on request of senior police officers who feared law and order situation. “My father was not arrested for corruption or any irregularity but he was held for protecting Hindus in Mumbai and Maharashtra during the 1992-93 riots,” Uddhav said. Recalling the events, the Sena chief said Bal Thackeray went to the court without any fear.
“Nobody came for mediation saying don’t go to court to prevent any law and order situation. Balasaheb went to court and asked what was his crime. But, some people wanted to show that they arrested Bal Thackeray. If you feel now the government is indulging in politics of revenge (but I want to ask) who was in power that time…everyone remembers,” Uddhav said in an apparent reference to the Congress and the NCP. Stating that Maharashtra doesn’t practice politics of “vendetta”, Uddhav said when Manohar Joshi was heading the Sena-BJP government in 1995, Bal Thackeray had told him not to use force against political opponents if they protest against the ruling dispensation.
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“Even though they (Congress and NCP) are opponents they belong to our Maharashtra,” he quoted the Sena chief as saying. Uddhav said Sena is an outfit fighting for rightful justice and working for labourers, farmers and the poor, and not for the sake of power. “I will not quit politics and do farming. I will work to ensure that a shivsainik becomes chief minister,” he said in a jibe at NCP leader Ajit Pawar. Ajit, who resigned as MLA of Baramati constituency on Friday, had reportedly told his family members that he was quitting politics and getting into farming or any other business.
Earlier this week, the ED filed a case in connection with the alleged bank scam against Pawar, Ajit Pawar and others, triggering a firestorm in state politics. Though the ED never summoned Pawar, he volunteered to present himself before the money-laundering agency, saying he didn’t want to create perception that he was avoiding the agency. Pawar’s move galvanised workers and leaders of the NCP which is wrecked by desertions in the run-up to crucial elections.