Attacking the Centre over the action by probe agencies against members of the ruling coalition Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the Shiv Sena on Sunday said that contract killings have now been replaced by “government killings” to finish off political rivals.
Party’s Member of Parliament (MP) Sanjay Raut in his weekly column ‘RokhThok’ listed down the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) action against Nawab Malik’s son-in-law and the Income Tax (I-T) department’s raid against deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and his relatives.
“Use people’s money, government machinery to remove political opponents… Once upon a time, contract killings were prevalent in Mumbai. Hitmen were hired on contract to kill rivals. Now government killings have replaced contract killings. It appears that the central agencies are engaged in contract killings for party in power in Delhi. The policy now is to finish off unwanted political opponents by using the central agencies,” Raut wrote in his column in Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
“The drama to defame Maharashtra is going on by falsely levelling allegations of corruption. The objective of these raids is to harass people and get them to bend down. But Maharashtra will not bow down, and that has been made clear by right from [CM Uddhav] Thackeray to [Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar],” wrote Raut.
The Sena leader further slammed the Centre, stating that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was raiding homes of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh five times instead of finding the whereabouts of former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh. Singh had accused Deshmukh of corruption when he was serving as the state home minister.
“Singh had levelled allegations on paper and then fled. Find him. Singh alleged that Deshmukh asked police officers to collect ₹100 crore, and since then, right from CBI to ED (Enforcement Directorate) have been politically active with a sense of duty. But where is the police officer who levelled the allegations?” questioned Raut.
He also targeted the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM Cares Fund) and asked why no questions were raised on it.
Raut said the current Central government has made a “mess” of the democracy in the country. “Who is engaging in corruption, and who are the raids carried out on? This is a really important question. Nobody is ready to make the details of PM Cares Fund public. It is said that this fund is not a government fund but a private one. Funds worth crores of rupees are collected in PM’s name,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Sena’s ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), responding to former chief minister (CM) Devendra Fadnavis’ remarks that if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government had misused the probe agencies then half of the state cabinet would have been inside jail, said that the Opposition leader must not make such threats.
“We dare them to put the entire state cabinet in jail. The Maharashtra government will not be scared by such threats. The central agencies were misused to harass the West Bengal [government] but people responded to BJP [in the Assembly polls] accordingly. In Maharashtra, too, people are watching and will give them [BJP] a befitting reply,” Malik said. He was referring to the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) thumping win against BJP.
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