Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was on Saturday given a clean chit by police in connection with holding a public meeting ahead of polling for the second phase on April 17 in which he allegedly threatened residents of a village in the Baramati constituency to vote for the sitting NCP MP and his cousin Supriya Sule.
“We investigated on two points. First, whether Ajit Pawar is involved in threatening the voters and second, has he held public meeting one day before polling (on April 17). We have checked our records. But according to our records, there was no such public meeting held by Ajit Pawar. So, we have registered a non cognisable case,” SP (Pune Rural) Manoj Lohiya said.
When contacted, District Collector Saurav Rao, who had ordered inquiry into the “intimidation” complaint against Ajit, said, “We have received the report today from the SP (Rural).”
The meeting was allegedly held 12 hours before Baramati went for polls on April 17, along with 19 seats across the state.
Former IPS officer Suresh Khopde, the AAP candidate who was in the fray from Baramati against Sule, the daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, had filed a complaint against Ajit for “threatening” Masalwadi villagers of “cutting off” their water supply if they did not vote for Sule. Khopde had filed the complaint with Vadgaon police on the basis of a video clip.
When asked about the clip, Lohiya said, “We have not probed in the direction of the genuineness of any video clip. If any private party files a case regarding the genuineness of the clip, we will investigate in that direction.”
NCP earlier said that the video clip was “fake”. “The video clip is fake and Ajit Pawar has not said what is being attributed to him,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said in Mumbai.
BJP and AAP leaders had also alleged that Ajit’s meeting one day before polling was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.