NCP president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said he will visit the Enforcement Directorate office on September 27 to provide information in a money laundering case registered against him.
Noting that the ED filed a case against him in the run-up to Maharashtra assembly elections, Sharad Pawar said, “The timing is very important as it comes right before the nominations are to be filed. I believe in the constitution and the history of Maharashtra has taught us not to bow down before Delhi.”
“I was getting good response during my tour. It is election time and I will be travelling throughout the state. I will be present before the ED office on Friday so that when I am travelling there is no misunderstanding about my whereabouts,” Pawar said in a press conference on Wednesday.
While Pawar said he didn’t want to get into details of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam, he added that he would fully cooperate with the investigative agency.
Earlier, workers of the NCP’s youth wing staged a protest outside the ED office on Wednesday to condemn the registration of the money laundering case against party chief Sharad Pawar and others. Five party activists were later detained, police said.
The protesters, led by NCP youth wing’s state unit chief Mehboob Shaikh, gathered outside the ED office and raised slogans against the ruling BJP and the government.
“The ED filed the case against Pawar given the huge response his campaign rallies have received. The ED is being used to stifle voices of the opposition leaders ahead of the election. Hence, we staged the protest outside the ED office to condemn the action,” he said.
The ED has filed a money laundering case against Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and others in connection with the MSCB scam case.
An Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), equivalent to a police FIR, has been registered by the central agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The case is based on a Mumbai Police FIR which had named former chairmen of the bank, ex-deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar and 70 former functionaries of the cooperative bank.
The registration of the case comes ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly polls scheduled to be held on October 21.