Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said that the Maharashtra government will investigate the authenticity of video recordings submitted by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis alleging that state police officials were conspiring against Opposition leaders, PTI reported.

On Tuesday, Fadnavis submitted to Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal what he claimed was 125 hours of video footage that purportedly showed that the state government and the police were attempting to frame him and other BJP leaders like Girish Mahajan.

Fadnavis accused public prosecutor Pravin Chavan, Deputy Commissioner of Pune Police Pournima Gaikwad and Assistant Commissioner of Police of Pune’s Swargate division Sushma Chavan of conspiring against him, the Hindustan Times reported.

A part of the recording has Chavan seeming to instructt police officers to “fix” Mahajan in a 2018 case. Chavan has refuted the allegations levelled against him.

Pawar, whose party holds power in the state in an alliance with the Congress and Shiv Sena, on Wednesday said that the recording would not have been possible to make without the use of central investigative agencies.

“If it is true that the recording [submitted by Fadnavis] is of 125 hours, then the use of a powerful agency cannot be ruled out...and such agencies are only under the government of India,” Pawar said.

Pawar also said that he had nothing to do with the conspiracies, PTI reported.

“All the power of the Centre and all its agencies are in the hands of the people who follow the same ideology as Devendra Fadnavis,” he said.

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis. (Credit: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

Pawar said that options, such as the video, were being explored by the BJP-ruled Centre to destabilise the Maharashtra government.

The Nationalist Congress Party chief said that he hopes Prime Minister Narendra Modi will investigate the complaint submitted to him by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut about with the alleged misuse of central investigative agencies.

Raut on Tuesday had said that Mumbai Police would investigate a “criminal syndicate and extortion racket” that he claimed is run by a nexus of Enforcement Directorate officials.

He made the comments after the Income Tax department conducted raids in Mumbai and Pune on offices and homes of three aides of Maharashtra ministers Aaditya Thackeray and Anil Parab.

Premises linked to Rahul Kanal, an aide of Thackeray, Sadanand Kadam, who is Parab’s business partner, and Bajrang Kharmate, also reportedly close to Parab had been raided.

Pawar added that former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s case was an example of the misuse of central agencies.

“He [Anil Deshmukh] was jailed after a police complaint by a police official,” Pawar said.

In March 2021, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had accused Deshmukh of coercing police officers to extort money on his behalf from the owners of bars and restaurants in the city.

While Deshmukh repeatedly denied the accusations, on April 5, 2021, he resigned from the Maharashtra cabinet after the Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary inquiry against him.