Mumbai: In a major embarrassment to the ruling BJP, senior party leader Eknath Khadse on Wednesday claimed Nationalist Congress Party (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.
Mr Khadse’s statement comes a day after the En-forcement 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 Mr 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.
“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.
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 Enforc-ement Directorate 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....