Not summoned, but Pawar to visit ED office on Friday
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Mumbai: A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a criminal case against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), NCP president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said he would present himself before the ED office on Friday.
Along with Pawar, his nephew and former deputy CM Ajit Pawar and ex-Shiv Sena MP Anandrao Adsul are among the accused in the alleged Rs 25,000 crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank embezzlement case.
If Pawar does go to the ED office on Friday, it will be the first time in recent times that a high-profile accused would be visiting the agency’s office without being summoned.
“I have been told the ED has registered a criminal case against me. Since for the entire month I will be out of Mumbai for the assembly poll campaign and it should not happen that ED’s love letter is not received by me, I have decided to present myself on September 27 so that no inconvenience is caused to investigating officials. I will try to understand the charges against me and will cooperate with the ED,” Pawar said.
However, Pawar questioned the timing of the move. “I am surprised over the timing, particularly in view of the (October 21) assembly elections. I will provide whatever information is sought by ED, but I will not bow down before the Delhi throne,” he said. CM Devendra Fadnavis said that the ED had registered the case on the basis of Bombay HC directives and that it would be wrong to attribute political motives.
The HC had on August 22 asked the Economic Offences Wing to initiate criminal proceedings against Ajit Pawar and others in the case in which the accused, who granted loans to cooperative sugar factories, were allegedly complicit in causing losses to the bank. It is alleged that in most cases, loans were given illegally at the behest of Sharad Pawar.
Pawar said he was not even remotely associated with the loan disbursement process, nor was he on the MSC bank’s board of directors.
Pawar’s hometown shuts down in protest:
Pawar’s hometown Baramati observed a total bandh on Wednesday in protest against the FIR. Apart from Baramati, NCP workers held protests across Pune district. Protests were also held in Aurangabad, Nashik and Kolhapur.
Full report on www.toi.in
An NCP rally in Pune to protest ED action against Sharad Pawar