The ongoing rift within the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in view of the showdown between the Shiv Sena and NCP over the Bhima Koregaon case has aggravated further, after calls for a parallel probe on the case from within the NCP.
The Sharad Pawar led NCP has decided that the state of Maharashtra would conduct a parallel probe in the case days after the Uddhav Thackeray led Maharashtra government stated that it had no objection in letting NIA take over the Bhima Koregaon probe.
At a Mumbai meeting of the NCP chaired by Sharad Pawar, it was decided that the party will have to take a stand on core issues like the Bhima Koregaon case and the NPR.
NCP leader and Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister, Nawab Malik has said, “Within hours of the state government meeting to order an inquiry, the Centre decided to give the probe to the NIA. Section 10 of the NIA Act states that the state government can order a parallel probe in the same case that the NIA is investigating. So, our home minister Anil Deshmukh, after completing the formalities, will order a probe into it.”
The Bhima Koregaon case has been at the top of NCP’s agenda ever since the alliance came into being. Shortly after the present Maharashtra government had come into power, NCP MLA, Jitendra Awhad had requested it to drop charges against urban Naxal Sudhir Dhawale, the prime accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Sharad Pawar himself had also demanded the constitution of a Special Investigation Team under a retired judge to be set up to carry out a probe into the action taken by Pune Police in the case.
The Bhima Koregaon case had come into limelight for nurturing caste prejudice and inciting group hated and violence. It had also caused ripples across the country after Pune Police revealed that some Maoist leaders were planning to assassinate PM Modi.
Pune Police had stated, “Maoist leaders including…Rona Wilson and fugitive Kishan Da were conspiring the assassination of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and waging war against the country for which they were planning to procure arms and ammunition.”
The Elgaar Parishad case exposed the worst kind of urban Maoists, who are probably the most active and most insidious in terms of their plans. Now, for some mysterious reason best known to the Sharad Pawar led the party, it is putting its entire weight behind the Bhima Koregaon ‘urban Maoists’.
NCP leader, Nawab Malik who also happens to be the party’s chief spokesperson apart from being a Minister in Uddhav Thackeray’s cabinet has clearly stressed upon the Home Minister, NCP leader, Anil Deshmukh taking the necessary steps for setting up a parallel probe. In such a case, Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra who had consented to the NIA taking over the probe stands bypassed.
While the decision of setting up a parallel probe is itself a futile and wasteful exercise, its immediate political repercussions are going to be dire.
It seems that Sena supremo, Uddhav Thackeray’s decision to approve NIA investigation in the matter has not gone down well with the NCP patriarch, Pawar who has locked horns with Shiv Sena even as they grapple over the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NPR) wherein Uddhav Thackeray overruled Sharad Pawar’s will and has moved forward with the exercise. These bitter wars will, in all probability, prove to be the point that leads to an inevitable split within the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance.