ED summons NCP MLA Rohit Pawar on January 24, MLA asks to prepone the date

Mr. Rohit Pawar is the nephew of Baramati MP Supriya Sule and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who represents the Baramati Assembly Constituency

Published - January 20, 2024 01:56 am IST - Mumbai

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Rohit Pawar, grandnephew of party supremo Sharad Pawar, has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), for questioning on January 24 as part of an alleged money laundering probe connected to the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam.

On January 5, the agency conducted searches at six locations - at Baramati, Pune, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (previously Aurangabad), and Pimpri-Chinchwad - linked to Baramati Agro Private Limited a firm owned by Mr. Rohit Pawar.

Mr. Rohit Pawar is the nephew of Baramati MP Supriya Sule and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who represents the Baramati Assembly Constituency.

The Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank money laundering case originated from an August 2019 FIR by the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing.

Responding to the notice, the 38-year-old first time legislator announced his full cooperation and said that he is ready to appear before the agency on January 23, instead of January 24, amidst Manoj Jarange-Patil’s Maratha reservation protest march to Mumbai.

“It’s not the fault of any officer, it is my duty to cooperate with them as they are only following orders and doing their work. We have cooperated with all the systems till so far and will continue to do so. Hence, the request to ED is that the issue of Maratha reservation is important, and protestors are coming to Mumbai from all over the State. In this context, instead of the 24th, I am prepared to initiate the inquiry on the 22nd or 23rd. I hope the ED will accept this request,” Mr. Rohit Pawar said.

The ED’s investigation into Mr. Rohit Pawar’s firm focuses on allegations of fund diversion and the deposit of earnest funds related to a company bidding for the purchase of a Maharashtra-based ailing cooperative sugar factory.

The Mumbai police and the ED are investigating the involvement of more than 70 leaders in the alleged scam, including 50 from the NCP, nine from the Congress, two from the Shiv Sena, and one from the BJP. Although Mr. Ajit Pawar is accused in the FIR, his uncle Mr. Sharad Pawar is not named in the case registered by Mumbai police; the agency is nonetheless probing his involvement.

Previously, the Pawars and the NCP had dismissed the case as politically motivated. It gained political importance, emerging as a focal point during the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly election, when the NCP patriarch volunteered to appear before the ED for interrogation.

In 2020, when challenging the Mumbai police’s exoneration in the case, the ED informed the court that Baramati Agro not only supported another company’s bid to acquire a struggling cooperative sugar factory by funding the earnest deposits, but also financed the purchases through case credit from different banks intended for working capital, thereby engaging in the alleged diversion of funds.

The NCP (Sharad Pawar Group) responded to the raids by stating that Rohit Pawar’s ‘Yuva Sangharsh Yatra’ had unsettled the BJP, reflecting insecurity within the party.

It said that the constant pressure on Mr. Rohit Pawar through Central agencies is nothing but “political vendetta to muzzle the voice of a man who is showing the BJP their dirty side.”

“If Mr. Rohit Pawar is summoned by a Central agency, then many others who were accused by BJP leaders before they joined them should also be summoned,” the party’s national spokesperson Clyde Crasto said.

He said that the Central agencies should also bring to justice those tainted and dirty leaders who are now supposedly cleaned in the BJP washing machine.

“Mr. Rohit Pawar is a bold voice and BJP will not be able to keep him quiet,” Mr. Crasto added.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.