Launching a counteroffensive against the former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Shiv Sena on Monday said that the IPS officer, who gave curfew passes to DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan, and 21 others to visit Mahabaleshwar during the coronavirus lockdown, was appointed by his government. In an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Shiv Sena said that it is now clear who is behind IPS officer Amitabh Gupta's decision and on whose instructions he would have put the Udhhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadhi government into a "crisis".

wadhawan brothers
wadhawan brothers

"It is now clear and self-explanatory who has been actually behind IPS officer and Principal Secretary (Home) Amitabh Gupta's decision and on whose instructions he would have put the MVA government into a crisis." the 'Saamana' editorial read.

A 1992 batch IPS officer, Gupta had been appointed as Principal Secretary in 2018. He had granted written permission to "family friends" Wadhawans to move to their farmhouse Dewan Villa in Mahabaleshwar from their guest house in Khandala amid nation-wide lockdown over coronavirus pandemic restricting non-essential movement and gathering of people.

Fadnavis had alleged bigger hand

The matter was highlighted by the media, prompting the Uddhav Thackeray government to send the IPS officer on forced leave and launch an investigation. Devendra Fadnavis had attacked the MVA government and asked if it has two sets of rules for the rich and poor.

"Asking a principal secretary (Amitabh Gupta) to proceed on long leave is not enough, as no officer takes such decisions (to let the Wadhawans travel) on his own. At whose behest did the police officer give permission?" Fadnavis had asked.

The Shiv Sena, however, argued that if the Thackeray government wanted to help the DHFL promoters then why would the Satara district collector seize their vehicles and put them under quarantine. "The opposition in the state should ask its questions to the Centre that who was behind Gupta in issuing the letter (to Wadhawans) and what exactly has the Centre planned in the Wadhawan case...It seems some conspiracy was being hatched but could not be successful," the Sena said.