Sharad Pawar's name not mentioned earlier in MSCB case, says BJP leader Eknath Khadse

Khadse had served as the Leader of Opposition from November 2009 to October 2014 till the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government came to power.

Published: 25th September 2019 07:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2019 07:18 PM   |  A+A-

Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse

Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse (File | PTI)

By PTI

MUMBAI: In a major embarrassment to the ruling BJP, senior party leader Eknath Khadse on Wednesday claimed NCP chief Sharad Pawar's name was never mentioned in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank corruption case when he was "following it up" as Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.

Khadse's statement comes a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a money laundering case against the NCP chief, his nephew Ajit Pawar and others which has triggered a firestorm in politics of poll-bound Maharashtra.

Claims of Khadse, a disgruntled BJP veteran and former state minister, are likely to be lapped up by the NCP which has been alleging that the ED case was politically motivated with an eye on the next month's assembly elections.

Khadse had served as the Leader of Opposition from November 2009 to October 2014 till the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government came to power that month.

"I had followed up the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) corruption case when I was the Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly.

"I have raised the voice several times but I can state that Sharad Pawar's name was nowhere in the entire case".

"I wonder how his name got involved in the case," he told reporters in his home district Jalgaon in north Maharashtra.

ALSO READ: Won't bow down before Delhi 'throne', says Sharad Pawar on ED action

Khadse, once believed to be the claimant to the post of chief minister, has been in political wilderness since corruption charges cropped up against him, forcing him to resign as state Revenue Minister in June 2016.

The ED filed the money laundering case against Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and 70 others in the alleged Rs 25000-crore MSB scam case on the directions of the Bombay High Court.

According to ED officials, the case is based on a Mumbai Police FIR that had named the then directors of the bank, former deputy chief minister of the state Ajit Pawar and 70 former functionaries of the cooperative bank.

As per the police FIR, the state exchequer allegedly suffered losses to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore due to the MSCB scam between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2017.

As the Opposition sought to add political connotations to the ED action, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis clarified in afternoon that the BJP government didn't believe in "revenge politics".

He also pointed out that the ED is a Central agency which is not under the purview of the state government.

For his part, Pawar has said the case might have been registered because his electoral rallies are generating "massive" response in the state.

The NCP chief also said he would "voluntarily" visit the ED office on September 27.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp