NCP Leader Ajit Pawar Quits As MLA Saying Allegations Against Sharad Pawar ‘Pained’ Him
Senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar said he resigned as a Member of Legislative Assembly in keeping with his “conscience” after his uncle and Party Chief Sharad Pawar’s name was embroiled in the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam.
An emotional Ajit, whose resignation on Friday ahead of Maharashtra elections shocked political circles, also denied that there was any rift within the Pawar family.
He questioned the allegations against Sharad Pawar in connection with the alleged Rs 25,000-crore scam at the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank.
“Sharad Pawar is not even remotely associated with the bank or its transactions in any capacity. Yet, the day before yesterday, only Pawar saheb’s name was doing rounds in connection with the case,” Ajit Pawar said at a press conference in Mumbai.
I reached up to (the post of) deputy chief minister because of Sharad Pawar... 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. I apologise to NCP workers if their sentiments were hurt by my actions.Ajit Pawar, MLA, Nationalist Congress Party
About the scam allegations, Pawar 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.
Maharashtra State Cooperative 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 said.
The Mumbai police registered a first information report in the case upon the Bombay High Court’s orders, which was followed by registration of a case of money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate against Ajit Pawar, Sharad Pawar and others.