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BJP-led Centre misusing CBI, IT, ED, NCB to target political rivals in Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday took on the Centre saying that it was misusing central agencies like the Income-Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate, the CBI and NCB to target political rivals in the state as it had failed to destabilise the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Pawar however expressed support to the Centre on the issue of Chinese aggression along the Indian border.Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Pawar said central agencies were carrying out raids against key people in the government as they have tried unsuccessfully to destabilise the government in the last two years. “It’s not just that they are going only after the NCP, they are going after key people in the government. They are now trying to create fear (in the government) by carrying out the raids and breaking our will. However, none of the three parties are afraid of these raids,” Pawar said in Mumbai.Referring to the I-T raids against his nieces, (Ajit Pawar’s three sisters), Pawar said earlier governments did not target families the way the BJP government was targeting. “We have seen raids where the I-T department raids and goes away. However, here they have been including the families and the raids have gone on for six days. This seems to be a new policy adopted by the BJP government,” the NCP leader said.

“The three sisters have no association with any companies. They are middle-class people, one is in the publishing business, one is a doctor, one is a housewife. I don’t want to speak more on this now, but I have never seen such things happening earlier. We also were in power but vindictiveness was never our culture. The BJP though has a different opinion on this,” he added.

Sharad---agencies

Pawar said the I-T department found nothing in their homes and claimed that the I-T officials conducting the raid told his nieces that they have been told to stay put (in their homes) and conduct the raids.Pawar brought up the issue of CBI raids on former minister Anil Deshmukh and questioned why the investigating agencies had raided the latter’s residence ‘five times’. He took on the NCB for carrying out raids in the state saying that the agency had little to show for its efforts. “They (NCB) have been here (Mumbai) for a while. They have caught people with small quantities of drugs, like in grams. At the same time, the state’s agencies (Anti Narcotics Cell) have confiscated more quantities of drugs. This clearly shows that the state’s agency is doing an honest and straightforward job while the NCB is trying to show the Centre that it is doing something here,” he said.On the cruise party drug raid, Pawar slammed the agency saying, “In any raid, the ‘panch’ witness has to be of a good character so that his integrity is not doubtful. However, here we have R Gosavi who is an absconder. It is clearly seen the kind of people the top officials are in touch with when they have got people like Gosavi as their ‘panchas’.”

Source: Economic Times

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