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NCP Slams BJP For Politicising Wadhawans' Lockdown Jaunt, Passes The Buck To The Centre

NCP's Nawab Malik lashed out at BJP leader Kirit Somaiya for leveling "unsubstantiated" allegations pertaining to the lockdown violation by the Wadhawan family.

Written By
Akhil Oka

Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik on Friday lashed out at BJP leader Kirit Somaiya for levelling "unsubstantiated" allegations pertaining to the lockdown violation by the Wadhawan family. Mentioning that a detailed inquiry had been ordered regarding the breach of the restrictions, he also reiterated that Principal Secretary (Home) Amitabh Gupta had been sent on long leave pending the completion of the investigation.

Rejecting the demand for state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's resignation, Malik contended that such "frivolous" utterances by Somaiya had resulted in him being denied the ticket for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Going a step further, the NCP leader called upon the Centre to take action against Gupta as IAS officers come under the ambit of the Prime Minister's Office. 

Read: Uddhav Govt Sends Own Principal Secy On Leave For Letting Wadhawans' Lockdown Violation

Read: CBI enters Fray Amid Wadhawans' Covid Lockdown Jaunt To Mahabaleshwar; Contacts Satara DM

Wadhawans travel to Mahabaleshwar

The controversy came to the fore on Thursday when reports emerged that some members of the Wadhawan family including DHFL promoters Dheeraj and Kapil Wadhawan had travelled to a farmhouse in Mahabaleshwar. This was in violation of the nationwide lockdown which prohibits unnecessary and inter-district travel. According to the Satara Superintendent of Police, they detained 23 members of the Wadhawan family after locals in the area alerted them. They have been booked under sections 188, 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code. 

In a surprising turn of events, it emerged that the Wadhwans were able to reach Mahabaleshwar on producing a letter written by senior bureaucrat Amitabh Gupta. The letter stated that the Wadhawans were his family friends and travelling for a 'medical emergency'. Incidentally, the DHFL promoters had skipped the summons of the Enforcement Directorate on March 17 citing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

They are being probed in connection with the DHFL and Yes Bank cases. Both the CBI and ED have requested the authorities to not allow the DHFL promoters to leave after the completion of the quarantine period as there were non-bailable warrants pending against them. Meanwhile, Anil Deshmukh announced that Gupta had been sent on compulsory leave and promised action against him after the result of the investigation. The opposition leaders including Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and Kirit Somaiya have questioned the complicity of the state government in allowing the Wadhawans to travel. 

Read: 'Officer Only Scapegoat': BJP Seeks Maha HM's Resignation Over Wadhawans Lockdown Jaunt

Read: Fadnavis Wades In, Slams Uddhav Sarkar On Wadhawans' Covid Lockdown Jaunt To Mahabaleshwar

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