Sharad Pawar upset as Koregaon Bhima case goes to NIA

Sharad Pawar upset as Koregaon Bhima case goes to NIA

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar. (PTI Photo)

In signs of strains within the Maha Vikas Agadhi government, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar is upset over the sensitive and controversial Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case finally going to the National  Investigation Agency (NIA). 

Pawar, the 79-year-old Maratha strongman, who is the chief architect of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress mega alliance government,   is unhappy over Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's decision of not resisting the move of the Centre.

After initial reluctance, the Maharashtra government has cited no objection to the transfer of the case from Pune police to NIA. 

On Friday, a special court in Pune allowed the transfer of the case to a  Mumbai-based NIA court. 

All the accused of the case would be produced in the NIA court on 28 February. 

After the MVA came to power, the NCP was keen to reexamine the case by setting up a Special Investigation Team.

Pawar had even written to Thackeray to set up an SIT.

"Maintaining law and order is a state subject. It is unfair to encroach upon the rights of the state and Maharashtra's support to the move is more unfair," Pawar said in Kolhapur. 

Pawar's comments come a day after state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that he wants the Pune police to continue the investigation but the Chief Minister can overrule his decision. 

It may be recalled after Pawar's letter, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had presided over  meeting of the Home department to review the case. It was after this,  the Amit Shah-led Ministry of Home Affairs asked the NIA to take over the case.

The NIA team had been camping in Pune for a fortnight now to take over the case but the Pune police refused to hand over the case,  after which the central agency moved the special court.