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Pune (Maharashtra) [India], September 8 (ANI): In a veiled attack on the BJP-led Central government, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday alleged Enforcement Directorate's (ED) actions against various Maharashtra leaders is an attempt to "discourage political opponents" and to encroach upon the rights of the state government.
Speaking to media in Pune, the NCP chief alleged that cases in the state, which can be investigated by the anti-corruption bureau, charity commissioner or even the home department of Maharashtra are being taken over by the central agency.
"We have never heard of so many actions of the ED in Maharashtra in the past. One action is going on against Eknath Khadse and Anil Deshmukh. Recently Bhavana Gawali told me, ED also started an investigation against her. There is an attempt to encroach upon the state government's rights by using the agency as a tool and discourage the opponents," said Pawar.
When asked about ED searches at premises linked to Shiv Sena leader Bhavana Gawali, Pawar said the raids were allegedly linked to an educational institution.
"When there are allegations against these kinds of institutions, the complaints can be investigated by the anti-corruption bureau, charity commissioner or even the home department of Maharashtra, but ED is getting directly involved in such cases here," the former union minister said.
The NCP chief said people did not know about the existence of ED in the recent past, adding that, "in the last two to three years, people came to know there is an investigation agency called ED. Now, nobody knows when and how this agency will start the following someone."
Pawar added that he will take other people in confidence on this issue and will raise it during the next parliament session.
Earlier, Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee accused the BJP of doing "vindictive politics" and said it could not fight TMC politically so they are using central probe agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation. The TMC leader on Monday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi in connection with the coal mining scam. (ANI)