Post-ED visit, NCP's Jayant Patil gets calls from most MVA leaders except Ajit Pawar
Mumbai, May 23 (IANS) Nationalist Congress Party state President Jayant Patil said that he got calls of support from all the top leaders of the Opposition alliance, Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) a day after he was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money-laundering case linked with the IL&FS scam, here on Tuesday.
To a specific query, Patil said that Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar has not called him up - "but for the reasons I have already stated yesterday (Monday)".
"All the top leaders of NCP and our alliance partners have called me...last night and even today. I am not taking any individual names. But they comprise all the main leaders of our friendly parties," said Patil.
He is scheduled to meet NCP President Sharad Pawar to apprise him of the ED's grilling session that went on for nine-and-half hours.
On May 22, Patil had appealed to all the party leaders and workers not to drop their pending works or rush to Mumbai to express solidarity with him when he went to the ED office.
Responding to Patil's observations, Ajit Pawar said that as a rule, he never comments on any probes/investigations on anybody.
"Earlier, there were probes against Praful Patel, Chhagan Bhujbal, Anil Deshmukh and others... Show me one statement where I have spoken about those investigations," retorted Ajit Pawar.
He pointed out that last year, even when his close family members were investigated with raids on 22 locations by the Income Tax Department (ITD), "I never expressed any opinion."
Earlier in the day, MVA ally Shiv Sena (UBT) President and ex-Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called up Patil and gave his full support, though what exactly transpired between them is not known.
It may be recalled that late Monday evening (May 22), Pawar had slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre for hounding opposition political leaders and the blatant misuse of central investigations agencies to pressurise them.
"Ten leaders of the NCP are currently facing action from the ED and other agencies... On the other hand, there were so many complaints against Param Bir Singh (ex-Mumbai Commissioner of Police)... That should also be considered," said Pawar.
Citing the example of his senior party colleague and former state home minister Anil Deshmukh, he said nothing emerged out of Singh's complaints of alleged corruption, but he (Deshmukh) had to unnecessarily spend 13 months in jail.
The Maratha strongman said that maybe the BJP has 'certain expectations' from the NCP (for such harassments), "but we are not going to satisfy them," even as Patil was being quizzed by the ED sleuths.
The Congress and Sena (UBT) leaders like Nana Patole and Sanjay Raut have also attacked the Centre for misusing the central investigating agencies to harass leaders of various Opposition parties.