MUMBAI: NCP president Sharad Pawar on Friday reiterated that the Income Tax department’s raids on relatives and associates of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar came in the wake of comparing the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre during the British rule.
Speaking at a meeting of his party in Solapur, Pawar wondered whether people have the right to express their views freely in the country.
“IT raids were carried out because I compared Lakhimpur Kheri violence with Jallianwala Bagh massacre… don’t we in a democracy have the right to air our views?” He asked.
The Income Tax Department on Thursday raided a few businesses belonging to Ajit Pawar’s family members and some real estate developers on charges of alleged tax evasion.
During the operation, premises belonging to business groups such as DB Realty, Shivalik, Jarandeshwar Sahakari Sugar Factory (Jarandeshwar SSK) and businesses linked to Ajit Pawar’s sisters were raided, official sources said.
On Tuesday, Pawar had drawn a parallel between the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, in which eight people were killed, and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and said people would show the BJP its place.
The former Union minister on Friday alleged that the BJP-led central government is leaving no stone unturned to harass the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government (of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) in Maharashtra.
“The state government is not being given its due share in the central treasury,” he said.
“We need to get the BJP out of our way. In the recent by-elections to local bodies, the MVA allies, who contested separately, won 70 per cent of the seats. There is no doubt in my mind that if we fight together we will get Better results. We now have to figure out how to contest the future elections.”
Pawar accused the BJP of being “anti-farmer” and “misusing power”.
He said a complete bandh should be observed during the ‘Maharashtra Bandh’ on October 11 and it should be done in a peaceful manner.
“Nothing should be open except essential services,” he said.
The Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday expressed regret over the deaths of farmers in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence even as ruling allies here called for a state-wide bandh on October 11 to protest the incident in Uttar Pradesh district as they sought to corner the BJP. Had it. over the tragedy.
The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, allies in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), called for a Maharashtra bandh to protest the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight people were killed, four of them farmers, on Sunday.