NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that he was not surprised by the registration of a money laundering case against him by the ED in connection with alleged Rs 25,000 crore scam in Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB). Hours after the ED booked him and others in the case, the former Maharashtra CM said that the case was filed because of the public response he was receiving during campaigns for October 21 Assembly elections in the state.
“I thank the probe agencies because they have involved my name in a case relating to such a bank of which I am not even a member of, I was not involved in its decision-making,” Pawar said in a sarcastic comment.
Pawar, however, said that he has not received any notice yet, adding that he will continue with his campaigning for the polls. “If they have filed a case against me too, I welcome it. I would have been surprised had such action not been taken against me after the kind of response I receive during my visits to various districts of the state,” he said.
NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said that the ED’s decision is a politically motivated move which is aimed at defaming opposition leaders ahead of the assembly elections.
The Maharashtra Congress also slammed the Modi government after ED booked Sharad Pawar and others. Party spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that the ED is being used to suppress opposition parties’ leaders.
On Tuesday, the ED filed a money laundering case against Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar, and several other politicians and officials in connection with alleged Rs 25,000 crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam.
The registration of a case against the politicians came after the Bombay High Court ordered the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police to probe and file cases against the Pawars and others in the matter. Following the EOW’s FIR in late August, the ED filed its case yesterday.