Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar.(HT Photo by Pratik Chorge)
Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar.(HT Photo by Pratik Chorge)

‘Was upset over allegations against Sharad Pawar’: Ajit Pawar on why he quit

Sharad Pawar had said on Friday that his nephew was upset because he has been named in the alleged case of fraud.
By HT Correspondent | Mumbai
UPDATED ON SEP 28, 2019 06:46 PM IST

Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said on Saturday his party’s chief and uncle Sharad Pawar has nothing to do with the Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank at the centre of the money-laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate.

A visibly emotional Ajit Pawar said he resigned as the member of the Legislative assembly from Baramati because he was “hurt and upset” as Sharad Pawar’s name was being dragged in the alleged MSC bank fraud case.

“Sharad Pawar has no connection with this bank. I feel his name has been dragged just because I am his relative. Because of me, Sharad Pawar and the NCP are being defamed. This is the reason I have resigned without asking him,” he said during a press conference.

After Ajit Pawar’s resignation on Friday, which fuelled further speculation of a divide in the Nationalist Congress Party and the Pawar family, the senior Pawar had given a similar reason.

Sharad Pawar had said his nephew was unhappy as he was charged in the case.

The ED had registered a case of money laundering in connection with the alleged irregularities in the MSC Bank against Sharad Pawar, Ajit and several other leaders earlier this week.

Ajit Pawar claimed the MSC Bank case wouldn’t have been filed if his name wasn’t involved as he questioned the figure of Rs 25,000 crore quoted in the news reports in the scam.

“The total deposit in the MSC Bank is Rs 10,000 to 12,000 crore. How come the scam is to the extent of Rs 25,000 crore can happen? I have a written reply given by the cooperation minister in which he has admitted in the state legislature that the matter is related to financial irregularities of Rs 1088 crore,” he added.

Ajit Pawar said he was being targeted by some people to defame him. Sharad Pawar has already hinted that there was a political motive behind ED’s case and also said that he will not bow down before New Delhi.

However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has insisted that the action is being taken in accordance with the Bombay high court order and there was no politics involved.

Before addressing reporters, Ajit Pawar met Sharad Pawar, his brother Shrinivas Pawar, his daughter Supriya Sule at Silver Oak, the NCP chief’s residence at Bhulabhai Desai Road in south Mumbai at around 1pm. He was incommunicado for almost 18 hours after tendering his resignation.

Other party leaders, who were present at Pawar’s residence were kept out of it.

After the family meeting, Sharad Pawar had scotched speculations of a family feud over the resignation of Ajit Pawar.

Ajit Pawar also apologised to the NCP’s leaders and cadre for hurting them by taking the decision without informing them as took a pause for a minute.

“I was very upset and hurt and was deliberating since the last few days over taking such a step (to resign). No one would have approved my decision had I discussed it in the party,” he said.

“I don’t know whether it was a mistake but I will like to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone—my seniors, colleagues and workers—for hurting their sentiments,” Ajit said.

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