Chhagan Bhujbal back home

Chhagan Bhujbal back home

Former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Chhagan Bhujbal returns home after over two years in custody in connection with a money laundering case, in Mumbai on Thursday. PTI

A week after he was granted bail, veteran NCP leader and former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Thursday returned home.

Bhujbal, 71, who has been ailing for some time, returned home following his discharge from the civic-run King Edward Memorial Hospital at Parel.

Bhujbal received a phonecall from NCP supremo and former Union agricuture minister Sharad Pawar once he was home.

Bhujbal, a former shiv sainik, first defected to the Congress and later became one of the founders of the Sharad Pawar-led NCP. He is currently an MLA from Yeola in the Nashik district.

An an OBC leader and founder of Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad, he will address a rally on June 10 in Pune, the foundation day of the NCP.

"The rally has been organised to mark 20 years of the party," according to NCP general secretary Praful Patel.

The rally will be a sort of political comeback for Bhujbal, who had been the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra and has handled portfolios such as home, tourism and public works department.

However, in a surpirising development, Bhujbal's son Pankaj Bhujbal, an MLA, on Wednesday, called on Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, at the latter's residence, sending political circles abuzz.

"It was a relation of 25 years (with Shiv Sena)... I got best wishes... I am grateful," he said.

Last Friday, Bhujbal secured bail from the Bombay High Court.

On Saturday, he completed the bail formalities but preferred to stay in hospital for further treatment.

Bhujbal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March, 2016 in connection with two money laundering cases registered against him, his nephew Sameer Bhujbal, other family members and associates.

Maharashtra's Anti Corruption Bureau had filed a chargesheet against the Bhujbals, Sameer and 15 others in the new Maharashtra Sadan scam case in February 2016.

Bhujbal had applied in January for bail, after a PMLA special court rejected his bail application in December.