Patra Chawl scam: Sharad Pawar says he is ready for probe

Patra Chawl scam: Sharad Pawar says he is ready for probe

Mumbai After his name was dragged into the Patra Chawl scam, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said that he is ready to face any probe.

He said that the state government should start the investigation into the allegation at the earliest. However, he said that at the same time, it should tell them about the action to be taken against Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar, if allegations are found baseless.

Pawar made the statement after Bhatkhalkar called him the mastermind of the scam and demanded an inquiry.

“I have never said no to any probe. Do it as early as possible. If found baseless, then what action will be taken against the person (Atul Bhatkhalkar) who has made allegations against me,” Pawar said in a media interaction held on Wednesday.

Bhatkhalkar has claimed that Pawar was named in the chargesheet filed by the enforcement directorate and he also held a meeting on the issue back in 2006.

Responding to the allegations, Jitendra Awhad, former housing minister and NCP leader, shared the copies of the minutes of the meeting held by Pawar as the then union agriculture minister on August 8, 2006. “Pawar saheb held the meeting to resolve the issue. Swadheen Kshatriya, the then housing secretary, clearly mentioned that he (Sharad Pawar) concluded the meeting by asking to submit copies of the high court judgement to the housing secretary and apprise the chief minister about the meeting,” Awhad said.

The former housing minister also shared a copy of ED chargesheet and said that the chargesheet states that the union minister of agriculture in the said meeting declared that any modification to the GR is a matter to be decided by the government and not by the secretary. “But allegations were deliberately made to defame Pawar,” Awhad said.

Bhatkhalkar, 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.

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