When the state’s former deputy CM was arrested last Monday in connection with a money laundering case in the Maharashtra Sadan scam, the Nationalist Congress Party cried foul and said it was vendetta politics by the BJP-led government.
On Saturday, in a clear message that the party leadership is behind him, NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter and party MP Supriya Sule paid a visit to the Arthur Road jail to meet Chhagan Bhujbal.
Bhujbal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 14 in a money laundering case related to the controversial deal of Maharashtra government with a private developer . Bhujbal, his nephew Sameer and son Pankaj have been accused of wrongdoing in a deal with a private developer who was given a prime Andheri plot in exchange for building a Regional Transport Office on part of the plot, the state government guesthouse Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi and a multi-storey guest house at Malabar Hill in Mumbai.
While Sameer has been in ED custody for more than six weeks, Bhujbal was called for interrogation on March 14 and arrested after daylong questioning. He is now in judicial custody till March 31.
While Bhujbal supporters threatened to take to the streets , the party leadership asked them not to resort to any acts that would trouble common people.
But, there was speculation in political circles if the NCP leadership will desert Bhujbal.
Soon after , Pawar spoke to the media and cleared the air. He said the arrest smacked of political controversy.
Sule’s visit is seen as the NCP leadership’s way of assuring Bhubjal it is behind him. Sule did not talk about the visit to the media, but only said : “I wish happy Holi to everybody. I appeal to everyone not to waste water.”