The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Maharashtra MLA Rohit Pawar, the grandnephew of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, for questioning on January 24 in connection with its money laundering probe into the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam, according to official sources. The federal agency had conducted raids on January 5 at the premises of Baramati Agro, a company owned by Rohit Pawar, and some associated entities in Baramati, Pune, Aurangabad, and other locations.
Rohit Pawar, aged 38, is a first-time NCP MLA representing the Karjat-Jamkhed seat in the Maharashtra assembly and serves as the owner and CEO of Baramati Agro. He is affiliated with the Sharad Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Rohit Pawar is also the nephew of Baramati MP Supriya Sule and the state's deputy chief minister and Baramati MLA, Ajit Pawar.
The Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank money laundering case originated from an August 2019 FIR filed by the Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing. The ED's investigation into Rohit Pawar's firm revolves around allegations of the "diversion" of funds and the deposit of earnest funds by a company bidding for the purchase of a Maharashtra-based struggling cooperative sugar factory.
In response to the raids, the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharad Pawar Group) stated that Rohit Pawar's 'Yuva Sangharsh Yatra' had "hit a nerve" and made the BJP insecure. The ED's scrutiny adds another layer to the ongoing investigation into the alleged financial irregularities surrounding the MSCB.
(With Agency Inputs)