Sharad Pawar cancels his visit to ED office

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar, who declared that he would go the Enforcement Directorate office today, has cancelled his visit citing law and order situation.

Hours before Pawar’s expected visit, the probe agency wrote to Pawar that “there is no need for him” to come. It also said if there was any requirement in future, “we will inform you”.

Security had been tightened for the visit amid NCP protests and large gatherings had been banned around the Enforcement Directorate’s office in South Mumbai. Pawar has been named in a complaint on Rs 25,000-crore scam involving the sanction of loans illegally by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank. The police FIR doesn’t list him as an accused.

Earlier,  Pawar had said he would go to the probe agency himself to clarify his position before getting busy with next month’s elections in the state. He said: “I would have been surprised had such action not been taken against me after the kind of response I receive during my visits to various districts of the state.”

On Friday, Rahul Gandhi came out in his support and said the case naming Pawar just before the October 21 Maharashtra elections smacked of “political opportunism” by a “vindictive government”.

The ED case pertains to loans provided by the MSC Bank – the apex body for all district central cooperative (DCC) banks in the state – to co-operative sugar factories, spinning mills and other processing units. It is alleged that these loans were given without considering the financial conditions of the cooperative units.

Pawar has clarified that he was never the director of any of the banks and questioned the timing of the action ahead of the Assembly polls in the state.

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