Sharad Pawar Is Being Defamed In MSC Bank Case Becaue Of Me: Ajit Pawar On Why He Quit
Ajit Pawar, who along with his NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and several others has been named by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its probe in MSC Bank fraud case, had resigned as a member of the Legislative Assembly on Friday evening.
Before addressing the press conference, Ajit Pawar met Sharad Pawar at his home earlier in the day, This is the first meeting between Sharad and Ajit Pawar after the later abruptly resigned, stunning party and state political circles. His resignation had fuelled further speculation of a divide in the NCP and the Pawar family.
The former NCP MLA also denied that there was any rift within the Pawar family. "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.
"I reached upto (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," he added.
"I apologise to NCP workers if their sentiments were hurt by my actions," he said. 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.
Sharad Pawar, on late Friday night, said Ajit's family informed that he was "disturbed" over the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case in the alleged Rs 25,000-crore scam in Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank Ltd. (MSCB) and decided to quit.
He also indicated that Ajit Pawar was contemplating quitting politics altogether even as the state prepares for elections on October 21 with the NCP posing a formidable challenge along with the Congress and other allies to wrest power from the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine.
In a party meeting, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray declined to comment on the issue saying: "I am not interested in anybody's family squabbles." In a surprise move, Ajit Pawar went and submitted his resignation to Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade who accepted it, barely six weeks before the term of the present assembly is due to expire.
While Sharad Pawar drove down from Pune, Ajit reportedly came from Ahmednagar and the entire family, including Supriya Sule, MP (Pawar Sr.'s daughter) and other close relatives, were huddled in a private meeting.
Some senior party leaders like Leader of Opposition in Council Dhananjay Munde and National Spokesperson Jitendra Awhad were outside Pawar's residence, but there was no word on the discussions going on inside.
There was fresh speculation that Sharad Pawar might prevail upon Ajit to reconsider his move and plunge afresh into the election campaigning which he was doing till Thursday.
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