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Home / Politics / News /  Maharashtra politics heats up over ED action

New Delhi: A war of words has broken out in Maharashtra over the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED’s) actions against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar in an alleged case of money laundering.

A day after the Pawars were booked by the ED in connection with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam of 25,000 crore, the NCP chief on Wednesday said he would “fully cooperate" with the probe and appear before it on Friday.

Maharashtra chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis, however, said it was wrong to attribute any political motive to the ED’s actions.

The investigations by the ED could put corruption back on the table as a key electoral issue in the state, which goes to polls on 21 October. The case was registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The NCP chief said he was “willing to present myself" before the ED. “I will go myself on Friday (27 September) and present the facts before ED".

“I will be mostly out of Mumbai for assembly election campaigning. The agency officials shouldn’t misunderstand that I am unavailable. I will go to them and give them whatever information they want," he added.

Fadnavis also countered the Opposition’s charge of political vendetta, saying that the ED had registered the case on the basis of a high court directive. “It would be wrong to attribute a political motive for the ED action and call it political vendetta (by the BJP government)," the chief minister said.

The NCP, a key political player in Maharashtra, will fight the assembly elections in alliance with the Congress, with both parties contesting an equal number of seats. The coalition will take on the incumbent BJP-Shiv Sena combine.

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