Sharad Pawar has alleged that the Centre has handed over probe in the Elgar Parishad case to the NIA as the previous Devendra Fadnavis government wants to hide something.
All is not well in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government comprising Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in Maharashtra. NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has convened a meeting of his party ministers on Monday, days after he publicly expressed displeasure over Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s decision to transfer the probe in the Elgar Parishad case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from the state police.
Pawar had criticised the Centre for its January 25 decision to hand over the probe to the NIA. However, first cracks emerged between the alliance partners after the state government gave its go-ahead to the Centre’s decision to transfer the case to the NIA. This is the first instance when an alliance partner has openly criticised the Chief Minister. The Bhima-Koregaon case has been a politically sensitive matter which has seen sparks fly between the BJP and the Left parties over the detention of activists.
Last week, a Pune court transferred all cases related to the January 1, 2018 violence at Bhima Koregaon to a special NIA case in Mumbai. The court also said the order of investigation by the central agency cannot be said to be illegal or improper. The case involves Left activists who had given speeches at the Elgar Parishad gathering on December 31, 2017.
Sharad Pawar said that maintaining law and order is a state subject and it was wrong on the part of the Centre to transfer the case to NIA. Criticising the state government, he said the government’s approval of the decision is more unfair.
“It was not right for the Centre to hand over the investigation into the case to the NIA. But it was even more wrong for the state government to support the transfer of the case,” he said
Meanwhile, Pawar on Sunday alleged that the Centre has handed over probe as the previous Devendra Fadnavis government wants to ‘hide something’.
“There seems to be something that the then Fadnavis government wants to hide, hence the investigation has been handed over to NIA. When the Koregaon-Bhima violence took place, Fadnavis government was in power,” Pawar said.