Mumbai, Oct 13 (IANS): Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said it is "misusing the central probe agencies to target political opponents and now even the relatives of politicians".
"Central agencies like IT, CBI, ED, NCB are being used for political purposes. A new strategy and pattern seem to be emerging now targeting the relatives of political opponents," he said, in a reference to the ongoing Income Tax Department raids on his three nieces who are the sisters of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, and various entities linked to them.
Pawar wondered what their connection to politics is, since one of his nieces is in the publishing business, another is a doctor, and the third is a housewife.
Referring to the chain of events surrounding NCP leader and former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, he asked "where is (former Mumbai Police chief) Param Bir Singh" who made the allegations against him (Deshmukh) for which he had quit the ministry.
"It is surprising Deshmukh's home was raided for the fifth time on Tuesday. What is the purpose of raiding the same person's house so many times. The man who levelled accusations (Singh) is not to be found anywhere... the people must also understand this," Pawar remarked.
Touching on the Narcotics Control Bureau's Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, Pawar said he tried to get some information on the IRS officer who was earlier posted at Mumbai airport.
"I have heard several stories... But I don't have the complete details, so I won't speak about it more now," he said, fueling speculation after the series of revelations made by NCP national spokesperson and Minister Nawab Malik last week pointing a needle of suspicion at the NCB.
He mentioned how the NCB had taken a person who is absconding from Pune police as its independent witness in the October 2 raids on a rave party on board the cruise ship in Mumbai port which sparked off a huge political row.
Questioning the NCB's credentials, Pawar said compared with the work of the central agency, the Anti-Narcotics Cell of Mumbai Police has seized much higher volumes of drugs as a state-level agency and without getting into any controversies.