Mumbai: Former Maharashtra deputy chief minister and senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal is now at home after serving over two years jail term in an alleged corruption case and is ready to hit the political stage soon. 71-year-old Bhujbal was granted bail by Bombay High Court last Friday but was hospitalised since then. He was discharged by the KEM Hospital this morning and returned home to a rousing welcome from his family members, relatives, friends and hundreds of enthusiastic party activists.
After meeting Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday Bhujbal set at rest all speculation on Thursday, saying it was merely to express gratitude to the Thackeray family.
“I am indebted to them. They supported me in my days of need. It was a family like the relationship of 25 years with the Shiv Sena, they will be concerned. They have been my well-wishers, as also many others,” he said after reaching his Santacruz residence.
In a major swoop, Bhujbal was nabbed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 14, 2016, in connection with two money-laundering cases filed against him, his nephew and former NCP MP Sameer Bhujbal and other family members, besides business associates.
Later, they were probed for three other alleged corruption cases by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, which lodged a charge-sheet against Bhujbal, Sameer and 15 others in the Maharashtra Sadan scam case of New Delhi, in February 2016.
Bhujbal also received a call from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar who enquired after his health and wished him a speedy recovery.
A prominent OBC leader and founder of Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad, Bhujbal is slated to address a public meeting of the NCP on its 20th anniversary on June 10 in Pune, according to party General Secretary Praful Patel.
The rally would signal Bhujbal’s comeback to active politics which he plans to follow up with a similar meeting in his home district of Nashik, Maharashtra and all over India.
In a surprise development on Wednesday, Bhujbal’s son and legislator son Pankaj Bhujbal had called on the Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, sending political circles in a tizzy over the Bhujbal clan’s future plans.