Sharad Pawar, the chief of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), made a couple of flip flops on Friday.
He was supposed to visit the office of Enforcement Directorate (ED), but just hours before his much-awaited trip the agency asked him "not to come".
In what was seen as a dare, Pawar said he will go, nevertheless, only to ditch his plans after speaking with top police officials.
Why are Pawar and ED fighting each other?
The former Union Minister is being probed by ED in connection to a scam, amounting to Rs. 25,000 crore. Allegedly, Maharashtra Cooperation Bank illegally sanctioned loans, ignoring guidelines set by Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The money was disbursed to sugar factories and spinning mills in Maharashtra.
Though several NCP leaders are allegedly involved with the bank, Pawar isn't.
After case got limelight, Pawar said he isn't surprised
Along with Pawar, his nephew Ajit is also on the radar of the agency. After he was named in the case, the veteran politician said he would be more than happy to "visit jail".
"I would have been surprised had such action not been taken against me after kind of response I receive during my visits to various districts of the state," he said.
Saying won't bow down, Pawar volunteered to visit ED office
Terming the charges against him a case of "political vendetta", Pawar said he won't "bow down" before New Delhi, taking a dig at BJP which governs both Centre and Maharashtra.
He also said since he would get busy with assembly polls (Maharashtra will vote on October 21), he will visit ED's office on Friday.
However, ED said it'll "inform" Pawar about his visit.
Police prepared for Pawar's visit by issuing prohibitory orders
Anticipating tensions, Maharashtra police deployed heavy forces outside ED's office at Ballard Pier of South Mumbai. Security personnel also dotted Pawar's residence.
In a late-night communication, police said prohibitory orders would be imposed in areas under the jurisdiction of Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Marine Drive, Dongri, Azad Maidan, JJ Marg, and MRA Marg police stations.
Meanwhile, NCP alleged several of its workers have been detained.
Even drones were used to keep a watch
#WATCH Mumbai Police uses drone for security surveillance at Ballard Estate where Section 144 is imposed. NCP Chief Sharad Pawar will visit ED office today for their investigation in the money laundering case in which he has been named. pic.twitter.com/ttWA4wf33h
After speaking with top cops, Pawar changed his decision
As the stand-off continued, Mumbai Police commissioner Sanjay Barve paid a visit to Pawar's house, asking him to change his plans. The top cop reportedly told the politician his visit might hamper law and order.
"Mumbai Commissioner of Police and Joint CP meet me today and requested me not to go so that the law and order situation remains under control," Pawar told media.
Separately, Rahul Gandhi supported Pawar
Sharad Pawar Ji is the latest Opposition leader to be targeted by a vindictive Government. The timing of this action, a month before elections in Maharashtra, reeks of political opportunism. https://t.co/XCW0GsdXjj