At a time when frames of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders sitting close alongside criminals are fresh in the minds of common people, there is another controversy surrounding the party for criminalizing the politics.
Days after senior Party leader Ajit Pawar publicly inducted history-sheeter Baba Bodke, who later quit the party following much public outcry, the party now finds itself in another trouble after a group lead by NCP corporators laid siege to civic body tender cell. Around 150 people, suspected to be armed according to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) staff, surrounded the tender cell department on Tuesday allegedly preventing the bidders from filing tender for Rs 100 crore civic work. The work was mostly for various city roads constructed by PMC where NCP is currently in the power. The PMC commissioner also took the serious note of the matter and has cancelled the entire tender issuing process for the same Rs 100 crores works.
The group comprised of four NCP corporators wanted the work contracts to be issued to one of the senior party functionary. Taking note of the matter, the party on the instructions of Ajit Pawar issued notices to those corporators seeking clarification. According to NCP spokesperson Ankush Kakade, Pawar has "taken the matter seriously".
The incident has evoked sharp criticism from the citizens and other political parties. Communist party of India (M) leader Ajit Abhaynkar threatened to launch the public movement saying that NCP leaders are running the PMC as their private property. Civic Activists Vijay Kumbhar, Jugal Rathi demanded police action in the matter. However till Wednesday police had not registered a formal compliant.
This is the third incident in the series, portraying NCP and its leaders moving closer to criminals. On Saturday home minister Jayant Patil evoked sharp criticism from people of Sangli when he visited notorious goon and independent corporator Alauddin Kazi at his home. Noted sandalwood smuggler Kazi has been charged under various offences in Sangli and Pune. While Kazi won the civic polls as independent, he later joined the NCP-led alliance, which currently ruling the Sangli-Miraj Corporation. Kazi, who was arrested at several time by Sangli police, is currently out on bail.
The two incidents of 'goons' laying siege at PMC and home minister visiting Kazi's home have come after Pawar publicly justified his stand to induct Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) convict Bodke, January 10. Pawar's act had evoked severe criticism from all quarters. The public outcry however forced Bodke to quit the party two days after he joined.