Maharashtra: Pawar welcomes any inquiry against him in Patra Chawl case

After an Enforcement Directorate chargesheet in the Patra chawl case mentioned him, NCP president Sharad Pawar said Wednesday that he would welcome any inquiry the Maharashtra government initiated against him.

“If you want it in five days or eight days or ten days, then do conduct the inquiry. But we expect the state government to take action against those who are making these baseless allegations against us,” Pawar told a press conference, where he was joined by former housing minister Jitendra Awhad.

BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar on Tuesday demanded an inquiry over the mention of Pawar in the Patra chawl case, in which the ED has arrested Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. The chargesheet said that Pawar, as Union agriculture minister, had held a meeting on the redevelopment of the chawl.

“That during the year 2006-07, Sanjay Raut has attended meetings along with MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority) officers and others for the redevelopment of Patra chawl chaired by the then Union agriculture minister and another meeting chaired by former chief minister,” the ED chargesheet read.

Awhad, also a Nationalist Congress Party leader, presented the minutes of the meeting held on August 14, 2006. Former chief secretary Swadhin Kshatriya was the housing secretary then.

“There is not a single project in Maharashtra for which Pawar has not held a meeting. Pawar has attended over 20,000 meetings in his political career. An official meeting for which minutes were prepared and at which government officials concerned were present is being used to defame Pawar and the NCP, ” he said.

Awhad said the party was always ready for any inquiry by any agency. “But when all these allegations will turn out baseless, what action will be taken against those who are making these allegations?” he asked.

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