BJP govt `misusing` ED to create fear among opposition leaders: Sharad Pawar

NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government was misusing agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to create fear among opposition leaders and called the ED “supporting party” of the BJP, reported news agency PTI.

Speaking to reporters in Pune, Sharad Pawar cited figures of the ED`s actions between 2005 and 2023, claiming it registered 5,806 cases and only 25 of them have been disposed of.

“The disposal rate is 0.42 per cent and the conviction rate is just 0.40 per cent. The ED`s budget has gone up from Rs 300 crore in 2022 to Rs 404 crore,” the former Union minister further claimed, reported PTI.

“Between 2005 and 2023, two governments were in power, including the UPA of which we were also a part. During the UPA regime, the ED investigated 26 leaders, of whom five were from the Congress and three from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It shows that during the UPA regime ED`s action was not politically motivated, but after 2014, not a single BJP leader has been questioned,” Pawar said, reported PTI.

These figures raise a doubt if the ED`s actions under the BJP government were politically motivated, the former Maharashtra chief minister said.

“It indicates that the ED has become a supporting party of the BJP,” he said.

“BJP leaders know about the ED`s actions in advance…looks like the orders come from the BJP,” Pawar claimed, reported PTI.

During the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh, the ED was not misused, but now now the agency is being used to create fear among the opposition leaders, he alleged.

“During Manmohan Singh ED wasn`t misused…but now it has been misused to create terror among the opposition leaders…ED is being misused to scare leaders from opposition parties during the election. During Congress-led UPA rule from 2004 to 2014, ED investigated 26 leaders ..out of these 5 were from Congress and 3 from BJP… During UPA time ED wasn`t taking action on a political basis but after 2014 Ed is taking action for political vendetta ..ED has become the supporting party of BJP… BJP leaders in advance knows against whom ED will take action,” the NCP (SP) chief said.

Notably, the ED has attached assets of a sugar mill owned by the company of NCP (SP) MLA Rohit Pawar, who is the grandnephew of Sharad Pawar.

Rohit Pawar has also been questioned by the ED twice in the past after it searched the premises of his company Baramati Agro Limited, Kannad Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Limited and some others in January.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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