Padmasinh's remand extended as NCP meets for future plans

Padmasinh's remand extended as NCP meets for future plans

The CBI has already sealed a South Mumbai flat of Padmasinh, who was till now the right hand man of the NCP president Sharad Pawar, and is planning to conduct scientific tests such as brain mapping and narco analysis on the accused.

The CBI counsel told the court that the agency is yet to conduct searches in his residence and that they have to probe the involvement of more politicians in the case.

In its remand application, the CBI said it wanted to conduct narco tests on Padmasinh as he is not co-operating with the investigations.

On his part, Padmasinh alleged that the CBI is “pressurising” him to give a confessional statement about having given ‘supari’ (contract) to kill his political rival Pavanraje, who had exposed the NCP leader’s wrongdoings in Terna sugar cooperative. “I do not intend to give any confessional statement as I have done nothing wrong and I do not want to undergo any scientific tests due to health reasons,” Padmasinh said in his statement to the court.

Two other arrested accused in the case- Satish Mandade and Mohan Shukla have been remanded to judicial custody till June 26.

Future plans

Meanwhile, in the background of Padmasinh’s arrest and subsequent loss of prestige for the party in Maharashtra ahead of the assembly elections, the NCP working committee is meeting in New Delhi on Monday to chalk out future plans for the party, which is also facing questions about its separate identity.

Pawar and key NCP leaders are worried at the poor showing of the party in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, where it won just eight seats compared to Congress’ 18 seats. The poor showing reflects further on Pawar as he was being projected as the future prime minister in case of a hung parliament. Pawar’s detractors in the state, including union heavy industries minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, are making noises about the Congress contesting assembly elections on its own strength rather than in alliance with the NCP.

Pawar, along with P A Sangma and Tariq Anwar, had parted ways with Congress on the foreign origin issue of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in 1999. Ironically, soon after the Maharashtra elections that year, NCP joined hands with the Congress to form the government in the state, where the coalition has since been in power.

The recent meeting Sangma had with Sonia Gandhi in which he sought to apologise to her for whatever had happened ten years ago on the issue of her foreign origin had raised questions over the separate identity of the party. Pawar has ruled out merger with Congress, declaring that the party would continue to have its separate existence but maintained that the NCP’s attitude would be one of cooperation with the Congress.

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