During the questioning of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jayant Patil by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Mumbai, party chief Sharad Pawar hinted that the actions against some leaders could be a consequence of their refusal to meet the expectations of the ruling dispensation. Pawar stated that although they would suffer, they would not deviate from the chosen path.
Speaking to reporters in Pune about the ED and other central probe agencies’ actions against NCP leaders, Pawar indirectly criticized the BJP-led central government, suggesting that the current administration had certain expectations from around 9-10 NCP leaders. He emphasized that they were not willing to meet those expectations and were prepared to face the consequences of their stance. Pawar maintained that they would remain steadfast in their chosen path.
Referring to the ED summoning of Jayant Patil, Pawar highlighted that being part of the opposition meant facing such suffering. When questioned about Patil’s interrogation, Pawar acknowledged that several key NCP leaders, including himself, had faced inquiries and some had even faced action by these agencies.
Notably, Patil was being questioned by the ED in connection with a money laundering case related to alleged financial irregularities in the now-bankrupt financial services firm IL&FS. The interrogation had been ongoing for more than eight hours at the ED’s office in south Mumbai.
Pawar also mentioned former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who faced allegations of accepting ₹100 crores for an educational institute and spent several months in jail. However, it was later revealed that the amount received was ₹1.50 crore, not ₹100 crores, which Pawar highlighted as an example of the exaggeration of allegations and the misuse of power.
Responding to queries about the Maharashtra government revoking the suspension of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, Pawar suggested that further investigation into the complaints and cases against Singh could lead to uncovering more issues. He hinted that there might be pending cases against Singh and compared the situation to opening Pandora’s box.
Pawar also defended NCP leader Nawab Malik, who had accused former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede of misconduct in the Cordelia cruise “drug bust” case. Pawar claimed that Malik’s allegations were turning out to be true and that he had been harassed for speaking the truth.
Anil Deshmukh was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in December 2022 in a corruption case being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Deshmukh was arrested by the ED in November 2021 in a money laundering case and is currently out on bail.
Nawab Malik, a former Maharashtra minister, was arrested by the ED in February 2022 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his associates.