No irregularities in Jarandeshwar sugar factory auction: Ajit Pawar

Ajit Pawar and his firm, who have been facing allegations of irregularities in the Jarandeshwar cooperative sugar factory deal, said that at least in four court cases, the verdict was in their favour
Mahashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar said there were 65 cooperative sugar factories of which eight were auctioned or given on lease by the respective banks or the state government. Many of these factories were sold during the BJP rule between 2015 and 2019 for paltry amount, but nobody is talking about it. (HT File)
Mahashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar said there were 65 cooperative sugar factories of which eight were auctioned or given on lease by the respective banks or the state government. Many of these factories were sold during the BJP rule between 2015 and 2019 for paltry amount, but nobody is talking about it. (HT File)
Published on Oct 23, 2021 01:36 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Mumbai

Claiming that many of the cooperative sugar factories which were sold to private firms were sold for 3 crore - 8 crore during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) regime but nobody questioned them about it, deputy chief minister (CM) Ajit Pawar said the Jarandeshwar cooperative sugar factory was auctioned after following all the set rules.

Pawar and his firm, who have been facing allegations of irregularities in the Jarandeshwar cooperative sugar factory deal, said that at least in four court cases, the verdict was in their favour.

“The [Jarandeshwar] sugar factory was bought by Guru Commodities for 66.75 crore and handed over BVG [another firm] to run, but they gave it to some other firm after a year. The Bombay high court had ordered a probe into the auction of the sugar factory. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing the auction and the truth will come out after it,” he said.

“The auction of Jarandeshwar sugar factory was done as per the court order after the management failed to repay the debts despite two opportunities given to them. A special leave petition filed against the auction was struck down by the Apex and high courts,” he said.

Pawar said though there are allegations levelled against the auction of the cooperative sugar factories, multiple agencies have already probed the deals and found nothing. There were 65 cooperative sugar factories of which eight were auctioned or given on lease by the respective banks or the state government. Many of these factories were sold during the BJP rule between 2015 and 2019 for paltry amount, but nobody is talking about it. Many agencies such as CID (crime investigation department), anti-corruption bureau, economic offences wing as well as a court-appointed committee have probed into these allegations, but found nothing,” he said.

The deputy CM said that the major noise was being made only against selected few sugar factories to mislead the people. ED had attached the property of Jarandeshwar sugar mills worth 65 crore in July. BJP leader Kirit Somaiya has claimed that the factory was purchased by a firm owned by Pawar and his family. He had also alleged that the district cooperative banks give loans to the firm by flouting the norms.

Reacting to the clarification given by Pawar, Somaiya said, “Pawar has tried to misguide the people of Maharashtra through his statement but he has not answered the questions raised by us. He has acquired Jarandeshwar as a benami property. He has been running the factory for the past 10 years. The Income Tax has been raiding the premises owned by him, his son Parth and sisters for the past 10 days. The agency has found [total] benami transactions worth 1,000 crore and benami transactions of 100 crore in Pawar’s accounts. We are not against the auction of the factories, but are raising questions over the corrupt and benami practices involved.”

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Friday, December 03, 2021