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Now, Income Tax lens on Sharad Pawar’s election affidavits


MUMBAI:  Days after the Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed in Maharashtra, the man who was instrumental in keeping it afloat, NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar, got what he called was a love letter from a Central enforcement agency.

The income tax department, he said, had issued him a notice in connection with his 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections affidavits.

“I am surprised that Central agencies are sifting through old records and sending notices now. It shows how these agencies are working overtime to target political opponents. They want to suppress dissent. The same strategy was used against Shiv Sena MLAs, forcing them to revolt against their leadership,” Pawar alleged.

He sarcastically said before the BJP came to power at the Centre, no one knew about the ED (Enforcement Directorate).

“Now, ED has become a family name,” Pawar said. It was the ED that got two NCP MLAs Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh arrested earlier on money laundering charges. Meanwhile, Sanjay Raut, a Thackeray faction leader, was questioned by the ED on Friday for over 10 hours in another money laundering case.

Curiously, Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar hasn’t commented yet on the fall of the Uddhav-led Aghadi government, in which he was deputy chief minister. Ajit is down with Covid but he attended the Aghadi’s last cabinet meeting virtually. More curiously, Dhananjay Munde, a close aide of Ajit, met the sulking new Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday, setting off speculation.

Aarey row back

New Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is already stepping on his predecessor Uddhav’s toes as he reversed the govt’s position on the controversial Metro car shed project in Mumbai. Shinde directed the advocate general to inform the court that the Metro car shed will be built at Aarey Colony as planned in 2019 by the then BJP govt led by Fadnavis.