BJP pressuring MVA legislators through ED: Nana Patole

TWO DAYS ahead of the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls for 10 seats, the Congress has alleged that BJP was putting pressure on MLAs through phone calls from Central agencies. While the BJP dismissed it as “script of defeat” kept ready by the Congress, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar predicted that the council poll will witness a ‘miracle.’

“Phone calls are being made to MVA MLAs. We know who they (BJP) are trying to talk to and what they are talking. We know their ‘lines.’ Even Central agencies are telephoning the MLAs,” said MPCC president Nana Patole in Mumbai on Saturday.

Patole said they have the phone recordings with them. “We will place them before the people at an appropriate time,” Patole said.

Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, a senior NCP leader, said, “If Nana Patole is claiming, he must be having the evidence with him. Even otherwise during the Rajya Sabha polls, the BJP followed the same practice. They are putting pressure on our MLAs and ministers through central agencies like ED.”

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Reacting to Patole’s charge, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said the Congress has readied the script of defeat. “The Congress is staring at a defeat. And they know it very well. And therefore, they have readied the script of defeat beforehand,” he said.

Patil said if the Congress chief is making a strong claim, then he should place the evidence before the people instead of waiting for the election to get over. “What is stopping him from placing the evidence before the people?,” he asked. Pravin Darekar, a candidate in council polls, described the charges levelled by Patole as baseless.

“MVA is fearing another defeat. And therefore they are preparing their text in advance. Like Rajya Sabha polls, the MVA will taste defeat in council polls too,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said unlike the Rajya Sabha polls, the MVA is fully prepared for the council polls. “We have learnt from our mistakes. We have devised a strong effective way to ensure the victory of all our candidates. On Monday, when the polling will be held and results will be declared, there will be a miracle…Wait for the miracle,” he said.

Meanwhile, even as all the four major political players have herded their MLAs in different hotels of Mumbai 48 hours before the polling, leaders and candidates of the political parties made one last minute effort to meet independent and MLAs of small parties. BJP leaders like Pravin Darekar and Girish Mahajan met Hitendra Thakur, who heads the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi and has three MLAs. Both the BJP MLAs travelled by train to Virar, the home turf of Thakur.

After meeting Thakur, Darekar said, “We call him Appa (Hitendtra Thakur). After Rajya Sabha polls, Appa said they voted for all the winners. And this time, we are confident Appa and his team will vote for us as the BJP is set to defeat MVA.”
Mahajan said Thakur was an old friend and has a good rapport with several BJP leaders including Devendra Fadnavis. “BVA will vote for our candidates. We are confident about that,” he said.

On the other hand, Bhai Jagtap, the Mumbai Congress chief and himself a council candidate, met NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday. “Pawar saheb is our chief architect. He was away in Delhi for last few days. He returned today and got an opportunity to meet him. I updated him and we discussed various issues but would not like to reveal them,” he said.

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