Sharad Pawar, who has denied involvement in the unsuccessful IPL bid by City Corporation, is known to be close to the company MD Aniruddha Deshpande.
Pawar’s association with Deshpande (50) goes back to almost two decades.
A small-time developer in the early 1990s, Deshpande met Pawar at a car rally in Pune. When Pawar was chief minister of Maharashtra, Deshpande had a major say in Pune’s development plan. It was then that Deshpande gained prominence as a real-estate developer.
When Deshpande formed City Corporation in 2004, Pawar and his family became its shareholders through 16 % equity. Pawar owns 33.6 lakh shares out of the 2.07 crore in City Corporation through two companies, Namrata Films Enterprises and Lap Finance and Consultancy.
Deshpande, who started his career in 1987, also served as promoter of Lavasa, the first private hill station in India post independence. Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule and her husband Sadanand had a stake in Lavasa, built near Pune by Hindustan Construction Company. Supriya and Sadanand exited from the project in 2005 while Deshpande dropped out of it two years ago.
Asked about Pawar, Deshpande said, “Having stakes in a company is completely legal and when Pawar owns it, he has every right to do so.”
It is also known the NCP chief has a flat at 1 Modibaug, a prestigious address in Pune, built jointly by City Corporation and Rohan builders. The flat is mostly occupied by the Sule family.
An ongoing project of City Corporation includes Amanora park, a township on 400 acres in Hadapsar area of Pune.
Asked about the financial backing for IPL bid, Deshpande said, “It was a bid of around
Rs 1,100 crore for 10 years and I had to pay just Rs 100 crore every year. Even in the Rs 100 crore, BCCI was to bear some burden through advertise and other revenue.”