Sharad Pawar questions timing of ED action; ‘no revenge politics,’ says Maharashtra CM

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MUMBAI: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday sought to dispel the perception that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case against NCP president Sharad Pawar was politically motivated as it was registered in the run-up to the assembly polls on October 21.
Fadnavis also clarified that the BJP-led state government had no role in the ED booking the veteran politician for money laundering.
“The state government doesn’t harbour any revengeful approach,” the chief minister told reporters after attending a function at Vashi in Navi Mumbai in the presence of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
The reaction from Fadnavis came as Sharad Pawar questioned the timing of the ED case against him and also took a dig at the Maharashtra chief minister.
Asked if he has been named in the money laundering case as UPA is vocal against the government on several issues, Pawar sarcastically said that he will have to contact chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to know the reason.
In his first reaction, Pawar on Tuesday night suggested that the case was politically-motivated due to “massive” response generated by his poll rallies.
Sharad Pawar also said he will “welcome” and “enjoy” the jail, if sent to, in the money laundering case.
“I have no problem if I am sent to jail. I will enjoy it instead as I have never experienced it. If someone is thinking to put me behind bars in this case, I will rather welcome it,” Pawar told reporters on Tuesday.
Addressing media today, Pawar again questioned the timing of the ED move.
He announced that he will visit the ED office at 2pm on September 27 to submit “whatever information” sought in connection with the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank scam.
“I will be mostly out of Mumbai for assembly poll campaigning. The agency officials shouldn’t misunderstand that I am unavailable. I will go to them and give them whatever information they want,” Pawar said.
Pawar said he believes in the Constitution of India.
“Maharashtra follows the ideology of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. We don’t know bowing down before the Delhi takht (throne),” Pawar said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has booked NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and others in a criminal case of money laundering linked to the alleged Rs 25000-crore scam in Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB), officials said on Tuesday.
They said an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), equivalent of a police FIR, has been registered by the central agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against all the accused.
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.

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