A day after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar was named in the chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the Patra Chawl case, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called him the mastermind of the scam and demanded an inquiry into his role. The NCP hit back, claiming that the baseless allegations were aimed to cover up the failure of the state government.
BJP leader Atul Bhatakhalkar, in a letter to deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, said Pawar had in 2006-07 held a meeting in the presence of the then chief minister and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and directed officials to hand over the contract for the redevelopment project to Guruashish Constructions Private Limited. He said the link between the then Congress-NCP government and Sena should be inquired into.
The NCP demanded that Bhatkhalkar tender an apology for dragging Pawar’s name in the scam. “People witnessed how Pratap Sarnaik was purified by the central probe agencies after he sided with the Eknath Shinde camp,” party spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said.