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Pawar defends Bhujbal, says ‘will fight legal action’

Pawar defends Bhujbal, says ‘will fight legal action’

New Delhi: Hinting out at the political vendetta by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) in the state over the Maharashtra Sadan scam, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday defended his party colleague Chhagan Bhujbal and expressed hope that an appropriate decision would be taken in this case as per the law.

“I am confident that we will fight the legal action and we are hopeful that appropriate decision will be there,” Pawar told the media here.

“I don’t want to comment whether it is (a political vendetta). One should understand because the ruling party MP is making statement on television, he and the Chief Minister, we are waiting on that,” he added.

Asserting that he was not surprised over the latest development in this case, Pawar claimed that the decision over the construction of Maharashtra Sadan was not taken by Bhujbal alone.

“There was a piece of land in Mumbai which was enclosed so that land was allotted to company who constructed this Maharashtra Sadan. This decision was not taken by Mr. Bhujbal alone. In Maharashtra, there is a committee headed by chief minister of Cabinet where the major construction project, including infrastructures, is approved and cleared by that Cabinet Committee,” Pawar told the media here.

The NCP supremo further said that Cabinet Committee has cleared this allocation of the piece of land which was enclosed to one construction company.

“In lieu of that, the company was supposed to construct the Maharashtra Sadan. Secondly, the state guest house in Mumbai and another building. So, all these things without spending a single penny from the government treasury, just the land that was enclosed by certain people has been exhibited and anybody who will visit the new Maharashtra Sadan, I am sure that he will come to conclusion that this is one of the best Sadan which has been constructed by any state government,” he added.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) last night arrested Chhagan Bhujbal, a former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra and senior NCP leader, in connection with an investigation into government contracts he awarded as public works department minister during the previous Congress-NCP regime in Maharashtra.

He was arrested last night after the ED officials questioned him for more than eleven hours at its Mumbai office.

The move comes after the arrest of Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer by the ED last month. Sameer is currently lodged in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail. Bhujbal’s son Pankaj has also been questioned in the case.

The ED has filed two FIRs against the Bhujbals’ and others under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to probe the Delhi-based Maharashtra Sadan construction scam and the Kalina land grabbing case.

The ED has also ordered attachment of three properties with an estimated worth of over Rs. 280 crore. (ANI)