Sharad Pawar mastermind of MSC Bank scam, says activist

Complainant in case says NCP chief used his influence to secure grants from State

Published - September 28, 2019 11:55 pm IST - Mumbai

Seeking justice:  Activist Surinder Arora addresses a press meet on the MSC Bank scam on Saturday.

Seeking justice: Activist Surinder Arora addresses a press meet on the MSC Bank scam on Saturday.

Surinder Arora, the complainant in the multi-crore Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank case, said on Saturday the scam was perpetrated at the behest of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.

The Mumbai Police, on directions of the Bombay High Court, had this month registered an FIR against directors of the bank over alleged embezzlement while issuing loans to sugar factories. This week, the Enforcement Directorate, registered an offence, in which Mr. Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar were named as the accused.

Mr. Arora said, “Mr. Pawar is the mastermind of the scam. It couldn’t have happened without his directions. Everything will be revealed in the inquiry.” He also criticised the State government for failing to take action even though he had sent several letters to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

He said, “The cooperative sugar factories were established by collecting membership fees from sugarcane growers. At the time of sale of these factories, no money was returned to the growers. Crores of rupees in arrears were not paid to the factory workers. All the accused, including Mr. Pawar, have abetted the suicide of lakhs of farmers in the State.”

Mr. Arora alleged that Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI), an autonomous body established under the Maharashtra Public Trust Act in 1978, had received several illegal grants from the government, when Mr. Ajit Pawar was the deputy chief minister, as Mr. Pawar was the lifetime president of VSI.

‘No action taken’

He said, “Mr. Pawar’s role became more evident from the affidavit filed by the State in one of the PILs filed in 2016 seeking restoration of four cooperative sugar factories that were privatised. The State has said all four factories were privatised with the approval of the Central Registrar when the portfolio was held by Mr. Pawar.”

Mr. Arora said despite numerous inquiries undertaken by various committees, no action has been taken against Mr. Pawar yet.

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