NCP's Ajit Pawar, Named In Money-Laundering Case, Quits As Maharashtra MLA

Ajit Pawar has been named - along with his uncle and NCP President Sharad Pawar - by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged Rs 25,000-crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank Ltd. scam.

Ajit Pawar did not give any reason for the sudden step. (File)

Mumbai:

Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar, named in a money-laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate, has quit as the MLA from Maharashtra's Baramati, the speaker's office told NDTV on Friday.

No reasons were given for the sudden step by Mr Pawar, who was named - along with his uncle and NCP President Sharad Pawar - by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged Rs 25,000-crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank Ltd. scam.

Both the leaders have denied any wrongdoing and have accused the central government of political vendetta.

Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade said that Ajit Pawar had submitted his resignation as legislator and it has been accepted.

Ajit Pawar could not be reached for a comment. Other NCP leaders too said they were clueless about their leader's move while Sharad Pawar maintained there was no feud within the family.

He however, said Ajit Pawar's son told him that the former Maharashtra deputy chief minister was "restless" after the Enforcement Directorate named the NCP patriarch in a money laundering case.

"He (Ajit Pawar) did not discuss the resignation issue with anyone of us. I do not have even an iota of clue as to why did he take that decision...he has been unreachable since," Sharad Pawar said.

"There is no feud. My decision is the last word in all family matters. When I meet Ajit I will ask him the reason for his extreme decision," he added.

Ajit Pawar's move comes on the day when nominations for the October 21 Assembly elections opened.

Earlier in the day, key NCP leaders and scores of party workers thronged the city in support of party chief Sharad Pawar, who had planned to visit the Enforcement Directorate office here after the agency registered a money laundering case against him.

Ajit Pawar, however, could not be seen. NCP leaders who were alongside Sharad Pawar, however, maintained Ajit Pawar was in his rain-battered Pune district.

(With inputs from agencies)

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