Shiv Sena says Bhujbal is responsible for his own destruction

By Nithin Belle

Published: Wed 16 Mar 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 17 Mar 2016, 8:18 AM

The Shiv Sena on Wednesday slammed arrested Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal, noting that as home minister he had sent many people, including party chief Bal Thackeray to jail.
Bhujbal, a former Shiv Sainik, had sent Thackeray to jail in 2000 for his inflammatory speeches. However, over the past 15 years he has been involved in several controversies and scams, which culminated with his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on Monday on corruption charges.
The Sena, in its mouthpiece Saamna, said that when he was in the party Bhujbal had become a 'hero' after being arrested by the police in Belgaum, where he had joined the agitation against the city's inclusion in Karnataka.
However, his involvement in multiple scams as the state's Public Works Department minister during the Congress-NCP regime between 1999 and 2014 showed his true colours. "Bhujbal is responsible for his own destruction," said the paper. "His supporters, who are agitating today, will forget him soon."
NCP activists have been protesting Bhujbal's arrest and party legislators also disrupted the Maharashtra legislative assembly, accusing the BJP government of indulging in vendetta politics.
But the former vegetable vendor, who had a phenomenal rise in the Shiv Sena and later in the NCP, had it coming as he and his family members - including son Pankaj and nephew Sameer - had blatantly misused the state machinery, allegedly for their personal gains.
As minister of the lucrative public works department - which doles out billions of rupees of contracts every year - Bhubal is accused of having amassed wealth illegally by favouring contractors who allegedly bribed him and his family.
The Enforcement Directorate had last month arrested Sameer after he refused to cooperate and answer its queries. Bhujbal too was questioned about his role in many of the scams, but according to the directorate, refused to cooperate, forcing the agency to arrest him.
Bhujbal has been charged under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Critics of the BJP government in Maharashtra accused it of dragging its feet in prosecuting Bhujbal and other senior NCP leaders. The Bombay High Court ordered the setting up of a special investigation team, after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), filed a writ petition in seeking a probe against Bhujbal.

More news from WORLD