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Democracy in danger, BJP "inebriated with power": NCP

Democracy in danger, BJP inebriated with power: NCP

Mumbai: The country's democracy is in "peril" and will be "extinct", warned NCP leaders on Friday as they slammed the BJP government over the ED case against their chief Sharad Pawar and alleged detention of party workers ahead of his visit to the central agency's office here.

The Congress, an ally of the NCP, has also slammed the Modi government and accused it of targeting Pawar ahead of the next month's assembly polls in Maharashtra.

The NCP patriarch had two days ago announced he will visit the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) office here after a money laundering case filed against him and others in connection with the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank scam.

Police have imposed prohibitory orders outside the agency's office in South Mumbai in view of his visit later in the day.

The leaders alleged party men were being detained ahead of Pawar's visit to the ED office.

Asserting the NCP chief was no way associated with the alleged scam, the party has alleged the ED's press statement that bears Pawar's name in connection with the case was drafted in the ruling BJP's office.

"It seems the press note was issued from the BJP's office. We won't tolerate the machination of maligning the party and its leader ahead of the polls. We are ready to face the situation," NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik told reporters.

Malik charged the BJP-led government with misusing the ED and added Pawar, however, will stick to his plan of visiting its office.

Seconding Malik, another NCP leader Dhananjay Munde accused the BJP of being "inebriated with power" and stifling voices of its political opponents.

"This one (the case against Pawar) is one such decision(of stifling voices)," the Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council said.

Asked about the administration urging party men to maintain law and order, Munde said it the responsibility of the ED and police, too, to ensure the situation remains so.

"But on the other hand, such action has been taken (against Pawar)...The democracy is in peril. It will be extinct in some days if things go on like this," Munde said.

Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil, too, accused the government of muzzling voices of the party workers. He, however, urged party men to ensure no inconvenience is caused to citizens.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Modi government, accusing it of being vindictive and targeting Pawar ahead of the Maharashtra polls.

"Sharad Pawar Ji is the latest Opposition leader to be targeted by a vindictive Government. The timing of this action, a month before elections in Maharashtra, reeks of political opportunism," he said on Twitter.

PTI

PTI

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