Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said he will “go to Enforcement Directorate on 27 September to give all information he have about this case.” He was named in money–laundering case along with his nephew Ajit Pawar, on Tuesday. He said he would be pleased to go to jail as he had never experienced it.
He said, “I will myself go to Enforcement Directorate on 27 September to give all information what I have with me about this case.”
The ED has registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) and named Sharat Pawar and his nephew Ajit in the complaint but not made an accused in the police report according to which ED says is a Rs 25,000-crore scam involving the sanction of loans by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank. The ED filed the case after a Bombay High Court ordered the police to charge Ajit Pawar and 75 others in the alleged scam.
Pawar said that he came to know about the ED complaint against him through media and he sees it in the backdrop of the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections.
“I haven’t yet officially heard from ED. There has been no notice. I have only heard from media reports. But if this is true, I am happy,” he said.
The ED has registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) against Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and a few others in a criminal case in connection with the Rs 25,000-crore scam pertaining to the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB).
Pawar said, “I am not surprised that the government has taken this decision. This is a clear-cut indication that I am getting a very good response. I’m happy because I haven’t taken a single thing from the bank. I am happy because elections are round the corner and I am getting extremely good response from Maharashtra. Because of this action, the response for me will definitely improve,” he said.
The ED complaint alleges that the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank violated banking laws and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines when loans were distributed to sugar factories and spinning mills in Maharashtra with weak financial profiles. The office bearers who sanctioned the loans were allegedly linked to the owners of the sugar mills.
In his defense Pawar said, “because I am not a director or officer bearer of this bank for the last 50 years; I have had no decision-making authority for years now. I don’t know how my name is there.”
Questioning the timing of the case NCP chief said, “I would have been surprised had such action not been taken against me after the kind of response I receive during my visits to various districts of the state.”
NCP is planning to make it a political issue as its workers have started rallying behind its leader on social media changing their display pictures to those of Sharad Pawar. Baramati was also shut on Wednesday to protest against the move.
On September 21, the poll panel announced the schedule for the Assembly polls in the state. Elections will be held in single phase on October 21. Counting of votes will take place on October 24 and the results will be out on the same day.
In Maharashtra, the BJP won 122 seats in 2014, while its alliance partner Shiv Sena won 63. The Congress won 42 and the NCP 41 seats while others managed 20.