Sharad Pawar got into trouble because of me, so I quit: Ajit Pawar

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New Delhi | Updated: September 28, 2019 7:41:39 PM

NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Saturday disclosed the reason behind his surprise resignation from the Maharashtra Assembly.

Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar, maharashtra election, maharashtra election news, Enforcement Directorate, Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, Mumbai, NCP, ResignationAn emotional Ajit, who met Sharad Pawar earlier in the day, also denied that there was any rift within the Pawar family (File)

NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Saturday disclosed the reason behind his surprise resignation from the Maharashtra Assembly. Pawar said that he resigned as he felt that his uncle and party chief Sharad Pawar was being “defamed” because of him. An emotional Ajit, who met Sharad Pawar earlier in the day, also denied that there was any rift within the Pawar family.

Ajit Pawar, who was also deputy CM during Congress-NCP government, questioned the allegations against him in connection with the alleged Rs 25,000 crore scam at the Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank. He also felt that Sharad Pawar’s name was dragged into the case just because they are relatives.

The Enforcement Directorate has filed a money-laundering case against Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar and 70 others in connection with an alleged MSC Bank scam. MSC Bank held deposits of Rs 11,500-12,000 crore, so how could a scam of Rs 25,000 crore happen, he asked. The bank had reported a profit of Rs 285 crore, the NCP leader pointed out.

“Sharad Pawar has no connection with this bank. I feel his name has been dragged just because I am his relative. I was perturbed as I felt it was because of me that he had to face infamy at this age. Hence, I decided to resign in keeping with my conscience,” he said while addressing a press conference.

The former Maharashtra Deputy CM said that the NCP chief was not even remotely associated with the bank or its transactions in any capacity. He said that it was because of Sharad Pawar that he reached up to the post of deputy chief minister. Speaking on the allegations, Ajit said that the leaders of all political parties were members of the board of the cooperative bank, and all the decisions including sanctioning of loans were taken collectively.

On Friday, Ajit caused a flutter when he sent his resignation as MLA from Baramati in Pune district to Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade. His resignation, which comes just weeks before the assembly polls, came as a blow to NCP. Incidentally, his resignation was announced on a day when NCP leaders and workers rallied behind Sharad Pawar who had decided to visit the ED office in Mumbai.

Reports suggest that Ajit Pawar was upset as his nephew Rohit Pawar was being promoted in the party at his cost. It was also reported that there some differences between Ajit and his cousin Supriya Sule who is the daughter of Sharad Pawar.

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