Quit because I was upset: Ajit Pawar
Mumbai Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said on Saturday that he resigned as party MLA because he was hurt and upset at his uncle and party chief Sharad Pawar’s name being dragged in the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) money-laundering case. The former state deputy chief minister was incommunicado since he put in his papers till Saturday morning when he met Pawar at the latter’s residence in south Mumbai.
Addressing a press conference, a visibly emotional Ajit insisted that Pawar had nothing to do with the case and the latter’s name was being dragged in the issue because of him. His resignation, however, is being seen as symbolic because the tenure of the current assembly is almost over with the elections being held on October 21.
Ajit also clarified that he wasn’t retiring from politics and would be contesting state assembly elections from Baramati constituency. “Sharad Pawar has no connection with this bank. I feel his name has been dragged in this just because I am his relative. Because of me, Sharad Pawar and the NCP are being defamed. This is the reason I resigned without asking him,” he said.
With tears in his eyes, he said, “I have emotions. How can they keep levelling absurd allegations against me?”
Trashing reports of a “feud” in the Pawar family, Ajit said his uncle’s word was always final for him. Pawar had also said Ajit was unhappy that he had been charged in the case.
State NCP chief Jayant Patil and party leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Dhananjay Munde were also present at the presser. The MSCB scam is related to alleged corruption in disbursal of loans and sale of assets at the bank. Ajit said leaders of all political parties were members of the board of the cooperative bank, and all decisions about sanctioning of loans and other matters were taken collectively. Upon the high court’s orders, the Mumbai police recently registered an FIR followed by registration of a case of money-laundering by the ED against Pawar, Ajit and others.