Pune: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday accused Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other BJP ministers of “committing themselves” to poaching leaders from other parties before the assembly election.Pawar also accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of misusing probe agencies and state-run financial bodies to compel leaders to join their fold. “The chief minister and other ministers in the state government have literally committed themselves to this work (luring leaders of other parties). They are making phone calls to leaders of other parties and asking them to join,” the NCP president said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Citing an example of the alleged misuse of financial bodies, he said: “The sugar mill of (former MLA) Kalyan Kale in Pandharpur was in a difficult situation. The state government, by flouting norms, gave Rs 30-35 crore to it and asked him to join the BJP. Since he wanted to save his factory, he switched over.” Pawar claimed that NCP state women’s president Chitra Wagh, who had announced last Friday that she was quitting the party, was also forced to join the BJP by way of threats. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Wagh met me. She looked worried,” Pawar said. “She told me that there are some criminal cases against her husband. In addition to that, an ACB (anti corruption bureau) inquiry has been initiated against their cooperative institution. That is why she asked me to give her permission to join the BJP,” he said. Pawar alleged that Kagal NCP MLA Hasan Mushrif was also made an offer by the BJP, but when he refused, the income tax department carried out raids at his premises in Kolhapur. Pawar added that Satara MLA Shivendraraje Bhosle and Ahmednagar MLA Sangram Jagtap are with the NCP.
MONTREAL – Former Aveos employees have been authorized to proceed with a class action lawsuit against Air Canada.The airline could have to pay more than $100 million if found guilty, lawyers for the plaintiffs said in a statement Tuesday after a Quebec Superior Court justice gave the green light to the legal action.Aveos used to be a subsidiary of Air Canada whose 1,800 employees conducted maintenance work on the airline’s fleet in three centres located in Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver.Air Canada sold most of its shares in Aveos in 2007 and then proceeded to gradually reduce its contracts with the maintenance company, forcing it to close permanently in 2012 due to lack of orders.The law that privatized Air Canada in 1988 obliged the airline, however, to keep its maintenance operations in the country.Previous decisions by Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Aveos employees and state Air Canada violated the law.The class action also claims the airline acted in bad faith by deliberately provoking the closure of Aveos.A spokesperson for Air Canada said the company would not comment as the matter is before the courts, and added the airline’s position will be made public during the legal proceedings.(Companies in this story: TSX:AC)Note to readers: This is a corrected version. A previous story said Air Canada was privatized in 1998