Mumbai/Nagpur: Finally the day of reckoning is here for NCP supremo, former right hand man of Balasaheb Thakarey, Chagan Bhujbal. He has been arrested in a money laundering case and will spend the night in custody in jail.
A large number of his supporters and one NCP leader Awhad, were with him when he was taken into custody. Bhujbal seemed to be putting up a brave front and waved to all those present before accompanying the police to take him.
Earlier in the day, Chhagan Bhujbal had appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning, in connection with the money laundering case filed against his family in the Maharashtra Sadan construction scam.
Bhujbal arrived at the directorate’s Ballard Pier office, where his supporters had gathered outside, raising slogans in support of their leader.
Bhujbal, it is alleged, received kickbacks for the construction of the new Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi, and huge sums of money were credited to the account of Bhujbal Charitable Trust.
Last month, the ED questioned Chhagan’s son Pankaj Bhujbal in the case and also seized Pankaj’s passport to ensure he did not leave the country. ED had, on February 1, arrested Sameer Bhujbal — nephew of Chhagan Bhujbal — in a money laundering case in Mumbai after the agency conducted multiple searches in connection with its probe against Bhujbal and others.
The central agency had, in December, attached the Rs 160-crore land owned by Bhujbal in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. They also attached properties worth Rs 110 crore belonging to Parvesh Construction, a real-estate firm jointly owned by Pankaj and Sameer.
Bhujbal, a lad from Nasik, who came up from humble beginnings to rise to second number position in Shiv Sena, has been credited with bringing large OBC masses into the folds of the Sena before differences with Balasaheb saw him quitting from the Sena and joining Sharad Pawar.
Co incidentally, he had taken this step while the Maharashtra assembly session was going on in Nagpur.
Is this arrest the last nail in the coffin for the beleaguered leader or will he rise back from the ashes like the phoenix? Difficult to say.