On backfoot over travel nod to Wadhwans, Shiv Sena pins blame on Devendra Fadnavis

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April 13, 2020 5:37 PM

Coronavirus lockdown violation: While the BJP has been hinting at a role of someone from the current coalition government of Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP, the Sena today sought to turn the needle of suspicion to the previous government led by Devendra Fadnavis.

Saamna today said that the senior IPS officer who issued the permission letter to Wadhwans was appointed by former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. (PTI)

Maharashtra lockdown violation: The controversial travel permit to DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan in violation of the lockdown rules has triggered a massive war of words between former allies BJP and the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. While the travel letter was issued by Principal Secretary-Home Amitabh Gupta, the battle has now shifted to whether it was done at someone’s behest. While the BJP has been hinting at a role of someone from the current coalition government of Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP, the Sena today sought to turn the needle of suspicion to the previous government led by Devendra Fadnavis. An editorial in Saamna today said that the senior IPS officer who issued the permission letter to Wadhwans was appointed by former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in 2018, seeeking to pin the blame on the former CM.

Hinting at a ‘conspiracy’, the Sena mouthpiece said that it was now clear and self-explanatory who had been actually behind “IPS officer and Principal Secretary (Home) Amitabh Gupta’s decision and on whose instructions he would have put the MVA government into a crisis”. Interestingly, the Sena was also a part of that government as a BJP ally.

Soon after the letter was leaked, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis attacked the Uddhav Thackeray-led government and said that it was not possible for a senior official to take such a decision without the sanction by someone higher up. “No lockdown for the mighty and rich in Maharashtra? One can spend holidays in Mahabaleshwar with official permission from police. It is not possible that a senior IPS officer would do such a gross mistake knowing the consequences on his own. With whose order or blessings was this done? Mr CM and HM you owe us an explanation,” Fadnavis had said in a series of tweets.

In the permission letter dated April 8, Amitabh Gupta had referred to the Wadhwans as ‘family friends’ who should be allowed to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar in Satara district for ‘family emergency’. However, after the letter surfaced, Gupta was sent on compulsory leave and a probe was ordered into the matter. Now, the Thackeray government claims that if it was involved in the whole episode, then the actions would not have been taken against Wadhwans and the officer concerned.

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