Nationalist Congress Party leader and Maharashtra ML Ajit Pawar resigned from the Assembly on Friday, NDTV reported. Pawar represented Baramati in the legislature.
This came three days after the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against the Nationalist Congress Party leader and his uncle and party President Sharad Pawar in connection with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam. Sharad Pawar was due to attend the agency’s summons earlier on Friday, but it asked him not to come. The directorate’s inquiry comes a month before Assembly elections in the state.
Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade told NDTV he had accepted Ajit Pawar’s resignation. However, he did not explain the reasons cited by the NCP leader.
An Enforcement Case Information Report, which is equal to a First Information Report, was registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on Monday. The investigating agency’s decision to file a case came a month after the Bombay High Court ordered the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing to register an FIR against the Pawars, and 75 others. They are accused of causing the bank to lose Rs 25,000 crore between 2007 and 2011.
The court then said there was prima facie credible evidence against the NCP leaders. The Enforcement Directorate reported irregularities in the loans given to the cooperative sugar factories by the bank’s officials, who were allegedly associated with the owners of the establishments. Funds were reportedly provided even though the factories had weak financials, and negative net worth. Collaterals were not considered in several cases, and additional facilities were granted without any justification.
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