Ajit Pawar denies involvement in Jarandeshwar sugar factory case

Mumbai, Jul 2 (IANS): A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) slapped attachment orders on the Jarandeshwar cooperative sugar factory in Satara, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday denied that he or his wife Sunetra were involved in any manner with the matter.

Speaking to mediapersons here, the Deputy CM said that the sugar factory was sold as per the directions of the Bombay High Court and he was not connected in any manner with Guru Commodity Services Pvt Ltd, which won the bidding process to take over the factory.

The ED had on Thursday slapped attachment orders on properties worth around Rs 65 crore of the Jarandeshwar Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana (JSSK), including its land, buildings, plant and machinery, at Chimangaon in Satara, as part of its probe into the alleged scam in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB).

"The allegations levelled against me are politically motivated. The Jarandeshwar matter has already been probed by various agencies but nothing has came out of it. The issue is being deliberately politicised, putting the future of many workers at stake. We are taking legal advice in the matter," said Ajit Pawar.

"The ED has a right to conduct an enquiry. Earlier, the state CID and ACB had probed the matter, while the EOW probe is on. Even a judicial probe was conducted in the matter. You'are saying it's a scam. Please show me where it (scam) is," added Ajit Pawar, who is the nephew of Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar.

He added that the BVG Group had asked Guru Commodities to run the 'sick' factory, but the former incurred a Rs 5 crore loss in their first year of operations.

Accordingly, the company was taken over by one of Ajit Pawar's relatives, Rajendra Ghadge.

It was later expanded and a loan was taken for the project and it is being repaid, he added.

The assets of JSSK are owned by Guru Commodity Services Pvt Ltd, and leased to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd in which Sparkling Soil Pvt Ltd (SSPL) holds majority shares.

During the ED investigation, it emerged that SSPL was linked to Ajit Pawar and his wife Sunetra, and the MSCB-conducted auction of JSSK in 2010 was done at undervalued prices without adhering to the due procedures.

At that time, Ajit Pawar was one of the prominent and influential MSCB board members, the ED said.

The ED contended that Guru Commodity Services was a 'dummy company' deployed to acquire the JSSK, which was actually under the control of the JSMPL.

The JSSK was later used as a vehicle by JSMPL to get a Rs 700 crore loan from the Pune District Central Cooperative Bank and others from 2010 till date.

It may be recalled that in September 2019, a month before the Maharashtra Assembly elections, the ED had created a sensation by registering a money-laundering case against Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar in connection with the alleged Rs 25,000 crore MSCB scam.



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