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Prithviraj Chavan was CM when MSCB probe started: Patil


Press Trust of India Pune
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said on Friday that a Congress-led government, "running on the advice of Sharad Pawar", first launched a probe in the scam at Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB).
Patil, a senior state minister, denied the Nationalist Congress Party's allegation that its top leaders including Sharad Pawar were named in the case as the BJP-led government was pursuing a vendetta.
"This case dates back to 2010 when Congress-NCP government, which was running on the advice of Sharad Pawar, was in power," he said, speaking to reporters here.
"When then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan suspected some wrongdoing, he initiated inquiry by setting up a committee," Patil said.
The Reserve Bank of India then appointed an administrator for the bank, he said.
"Later someone went to the high court, saying that no proper inquiry was being carried out. On the direction of the court, an FIR was recently registered," the BJP leader pointed out.
"So where is the question of the state government acting vindictively," Patil asked.
The Enforcement Directorate, "an autonomous agency", registered a case on its own as the amount involved in the scam was above Rs 100 crore, Patil said.
The ED recently disclosed that Sharad Pawar's name figures in the case, which sparked off protests by NCP workers.
By spreading propaganda that the government was behind the ED's action, the NCP was trying to get people's sympathy and support, but "people are smart as they know when Chhagan Bhujbal was arrested, nothing of this kind (protests) was done," Patil said.
Bhujbal, a senior NCP leader, had been arrested by the ED in a corruption case. He is now out on bail.
The NCP's protests were not spontaneous and not eliciting much support from people, Patil claimed.
Pawar, who had earlier said he was going to visit the ED office in Mumbai even if it had not summoned him, on Friday dropped the plan.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 5:05 PM IST

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