The NCP on Tuesday said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has no links with the properties attached by the Income Tax department and the motive behind this action is to defame him.
Alleging that the Centre is abusing the Central agencies to pressure the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the ruling dispensation and every individual associated will slug it out without any fear.
Following extensive nationwide searches on Ajit Pawar's relatives last month, the taxmen on Tuesday provisionally sent orders to attach their properties in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Goa and also over two dozen land parcels across the state with a combined market value of around Rs 1,400 crore.
An Income Tax source confirmed that their benami properties division has issued the provisional attachment orders under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act of 1988, regarding various properties linked to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader's family members, including his son Parth Pawar.
“It is being said that the IT department attached properties linked to Ajit Pawar. But there is no truth in it. The property belongs to everyone and they say that it belongs to Ajit Pawar. This is done to defame him,” said Mr Malik, who is a senior NCP minister.
Ajit Pawar is the nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
The Deputy Chief Minister's relatives have been given 90 days to prove that these properties legitimately belong to them and are not purchased with illicit money. During the pendency of the probe, they cannot sell these properties, the source said.
“What happened in West Bengal (the alleged misuse of Central agencies) is happening in Maharashtra now,” Mr Malik said, adding that before the 2019 assembly elections, the BJP had pressured many leaders to quit their parties to join the BJP.
The same leaders now say that they can now sleep peacefully because there is no pressure of any probe by Central agencies by them, he added.
Mr Malik was apparently referring to BJP leader Harshavardhan Patil's statement last month that he was getting "sound sleep" in the saffron party as there are "no inquiries".
Patil, a former MLA from Indapur in the Pune district, had quit Congress and switched over to the BJP before the 2019 Assembly polls.
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