Sunetra Pawar, Wife Of Ajit Pawar, Gets Clean Chit In Rs 25,000-Crore 'Scam'

Ms Pawar is the NDA candidate from the Baramati Lok Sabha candidate, where she is pitted against her sister-in-law and sitting MP Supriya Sule.

Sunetra Pawar, Wife Of Ajit Pawar, Gets Clean Chit In Rs 25,000-Crore 'Scam'

The clean chit has been given in the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam.


In a reprieve for Sunetra Pawar, wife of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and NDA candidate for the Baramati Lok Sabha seat, the Mumbai Police has given her a clean chit in an alleged Rs 25,000-crore cooperative bank scam. 

In a closure report filed in January - details of which have now emerged - the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police, which is investigating the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) case, has said that no criminal offence is made out in the transactions allegedly linked to Ms Pawar and her husband. 

Ms Pawar will be contesting from the Baramati seat, a bastion of Sharad Pawar, against his daughter Supriya Sule, who is also her sister-in-law. 

The filing of the report has given more ammunition to the opposition, which has consistently accused the BJP of using central agencies and police forces against leaders opposed to it and either going slow on the investigation or giving them a clean chit as soon as they align with the saffron party. The opposition parties call this the BJP's "washing machine".

Ajit Pawar had joined the ruling alliance of the BJP and the Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) and taken oath as a Maharashtra deputy chief minister after breaking the NCP, formed by his uncle Sharad Pawar, last year. 

The EOW's closure report states that the bank did not suffer any loss in the process of sanctioning loans to, or the sale of, the Jarandeshwar Sugar Mill, which is linked to Ajit Pawar.

It said that Sunetra Pawar had resigned from the post of director of Jai Agrotech in 2008 and, two years later,  the company gave Rs 20.25 crore to Jarandeshwar Sugar Mill. The mill was then bought by a firm called Guru Commodity in an auction for Rs 65.75 crore but given on lease again to a company in which relatives of Ajit Pawar, including Rajendra Ghadge, were directors. 

Guru Commodity was given Rs 65.53 crore by this company as rent. The EOW said it found nothing illegal in these transactions. 

Washing Powder Jibe

The clean chit has come under fire from the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) which is in an alliance with the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) and the Congress in the state. Party leader Anand Dubey said the police's action is proof that opposition's washing machine claim is completely justified.

Speaking in Hindi, Mr Dubey said, "Sunetra Pawar has been given a clean chit in a case in which an allegation of a Rs 25,000-crore scam was levelled by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had called the entire family corrupt. This proves that the opposition's claim that leaders are cleaned of all allegations after being washed with washing powder is completely true. Every leader who was accused by the BJP has been given a clean chit after switching sides."

Referring to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, Mr Dubey continued, "Cases, however, go on against opposition leaders and they are arrested even if they are chief ministers. But if they align with the BJP, they are made ministers, deputy chief ministers and given Lok Sabha tickets. And, when we point this out and oppose it, the BJP gets agitated and worried."

The Baramati Lok Sabha constituency will go to the polls during the third phase on May 7. Results will be out on June 4.