Rift over Elgar? Pawar says Maha step ‘not proper’

KOLHAPUR: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday expressed his disapproval regarding Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray’s consent to hand over the investigation of the Elgar Parishad case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
“It was not proper for the Union government to take over the investigation from the state government in the first place, and it was not at all proper for the state government to grant consent,” Pawar said in Kolhapur. He, however, added that it was the CM’s prerogative to take the decision.
Pawar said the Union government decided to take over the Elgar case investigation at 3pm on the same day that the state government had a meeting on the subject from 9am to 11am. “Law and order is a state topic but the Union government went ahead with its move, which is not proper,” he said. Pawar has been demanding that a special investigation team headed by a senior IPS officer look into the complaints against some police and home department officers in connection with the Elgar case.
The state law and judiciary department had said that it was within the powers of the Union government to take over the case. The Elgar case file, along with the opinion of the law and judiciary department, was sent to state home minister Anil Deshmukh of the NCP, who was not keen to hand over the investigation to the NIA.
Deshmukh had contended that the state government should request the Union government to reconsider its decision as the Pune police had made considerable progress in the investigation. He was also insisting that the state government seek the opinion of the advocate general.
The file, along with Deshmukh’s opinion and the views of the law and judiciary department, was sent to Thackeray on Wednesday and he approved of the investigation by NIA. Accordingly, the home department issued an order saying it had no objection to the NIA taking over the investigation. Deshmukh said on Thursday that Thackeray had overruled his proposal.
When asked to comment on Pawar’s statement, Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said, “The CM must have taken the decision in the larger interest of Maharashtra, one should not look for any political point. The CM must have applied his conscience while taking the decision.”
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant preferred not to comment on Thackeray’s decision ands Pawar’s reservation about the same.

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