The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Bhujbal hops from bed to battlefield

Mumbai, Dec. 16: Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who got himself admitted in a hospital after complaining of uneasiness and chest pain, today charged out of his sickbed to scotch rumours of imminent resignation.

The Nationalist Congress Party leader cut short his three-day bed rest at Breach Candy hospital and vowed to fight his enemies.

“I am not one to leave the battlefield midway,” Bhujbal, who along with his nephew Sameer has been repeatedly accused by the Opposition of playing a role in the Rs 39,000-crore stamp paper scam, said.

“I will answer all the charges and in the Assembly session,” added the deputy chief minister, who was rushed to hospital yesterday.

On Friday, the BJP had produced a letter during the ongoing session of the state legislature in Nagpur purportedly written by Dilip Kamath, a police officer arrested for alleged links with scam mastermind Abdul Karim Telgi. The letter blamed the Bhujbal family for shielding the main accused and shifting blame on police officers.

The deputy chief minister dismissed rumours — mainly spread by his party rivals who feel he is becoming a liability at a time when elections are round the corner — that he had been asked to tender his resignation by NCP chief Sharad Pawar. “Nobody has asked me for my resignation and nor am I tendering one,” Bhujbal said.

Apart from Kamath’s letter, Bhujbal’s woes have multiplied after former DGP Subhash Malhotra said during interrogation by the special investigation team that the order to give a clean chit to tainted former Mumbai police chief R.S. Sharma came from the home department. Bhujbal holds the home portfolio.

The SIT is also investigating the role of millionaire businessmen Antim Totla, a close friend of Sameer, in the scam. Totla was interrogated for the third day today in Pune by an SIT team amid speculation that the investigators were on to a “leading” clue from him.

BJP leader Nitin Gadkari had earlier said Totla was in regular touch with a “senior NCP leader” and made repeated calls from a certain cellphone number to that politician at the time the scam was busted in Pune two years ago.

Email This Page