Mumbai: The NCP on Monday described senior party leader Chhagan Bhujbal's arrest as "vendetta politics" by BJP, and said there was no need to arrest him as he was cooperating with the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
"This is vendetta politics by BJP. There was no need to arrest him as he was cooperating with ED," NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik told PTI.
"ED could have filed the charge sheet even without the arrest. This shows the mindset of the BJP regime... NCP stands firmly behind Bhujbal," he said. Senior NCP leaders rushed to the official residence of Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde as news of Bhujbal's arrest broke. Meanwhile, AAP said it is relieved that truth has prevailed through the courts of India.
AAP national spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon said, on 26 August, 2013 the Aam Aadmi Party had filed complaints with detailed proof that Bhujbal, in his tenure as PWD minister, awarded contracts to builders and then received kickbacks. "We gave detailed proof of every transaction in nine different cases, where kickbacks were received and money was laundered. None of the state agencies acted on our complaint, so we forced to file a PIL in the Bombay High Court. On 18 December, 2014 Chief Justice Mohit Shah appointed an SIT comprising the Anti Corruption Bureau and Enforcement Directorate.
"Time and again the court reprimanded the BJP-controlled ACB to act, but it continued to go in slow mode. Finally, the ED acted on HC's direction and first arrested Sameer Bhujbal and now Chhagan Bhujbal. Please note that they have been arrested under section 19 (1) of the PMLA Act — a money laundering charge and not on Maharashtra Sadan complaint filed by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya," she said.
"The AAP is relieved that truth has prevailed and will continue to fight and expose corruption by the Congress, BJP, and their cronies," the AAP spokesperson said.
Somaiya said, "At last Chhagan Bhujbal has been arrested! Now it is the turn of irrigation scam's Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare to follow Bhujbal." Social activist Anjali Damania said she was very happy that her efforts of four years against Bhujbal's alleged corruption has been paid off.