Chhagan Bhujbal, NCP leader and former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister has been sent to two days ED custody after he was produced in PMLA court in Mumbai today. Bhujbal was arrested late on Monday night after 10 hours of questioning in a money laundering case against him and others. Bhujbal faces allegations of receiving kickbacks for the construction of the new Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi. He is charged with illegally giving over Rs 100 crore contract for the sadan, for which he received kickbacks.
From a nonentity existence as a street vegetable vendor to his tenure as the second-in-command at the Mantralaya in Mumbai, Bhujbal’s rapid rise to fame is a political folklore. During his rush to glory, he relied heavily on his nephew Sameer Bhujbal but the very pillar that supported him has now cut his roots. Sources said that Sameer’s statements to the probing agency nailed the controversial NCP leader landing him behind bars although Chhagan is claiming innocence saying Sameer was the brain behind all the illegal financial transactions. Sameer is already under custody.
Bhujbal became emotional while pleading innocence and his eyes became misty. He told the court he had not done anything wrong and he was being framed as part of a conspiracy.
Chagan Bhujbal said:
“I have not done anything wrong. I have cooperated. I have been into social service for the past 50 years. When some questions were put to me by ED, I genuinely said that I did not know, but still I was arrested”
Bhujbal said he did not grant the contract in question and merely followed the directions of then Chief Minister late Vilasrao Deshmukh. MET founder trustee Sunil Karve had lodged a complaint of alleged misappropriation of funds with the EOW and the charity commissioner against Bhujbal and his family. The Anti-Corruption Bureau has already filed a charge sheet against Chhagan Bhujbal, Pankaj, Sameer and 14 others in the Maharashtra Sadan scam case.
Law finally catches up. Chagan Bhujbal arrested by ED in money laundering case.
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) March 14, 2016