ED in no hurry: No summons to Sharad Pawar

Mumbai: Two days after naming Sharad Pawar in an Enforcement Case Information Report in connection with the multi-crore Maharashtra State Co-Operative Bank money laundering probe, the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday said that no summons have been issued to the Nationalist Congress Party chief.

Responding to Pawar’s announcement earlier in the day that he would voluntarily produce himself before the agency for questioning on Friday, top officials in the ED told FPJ, "We have not called him (Pawar) or anybody right now."

Asked what they planned to do if Pawar kept his word, the officials said, "We will take a call then only."

Pawar had stated that he would go to the ED office at 2 pm on Friday to share information required from him by officials before his scheduled tour of the state ahead of the assembly elections.

This, he said, would help clear the misunderstandings in case he failed to respond to the messages sent by the probe agency in the middle of the tour.

However, the clarification given by the ED officials gave a hint that the probe agency was in no hurry to question the 70 odd persons who have been named in their ECIR.

Apart from Pawar, the ECIR has named other bigwigs from political parties, including his nephew  Ajit Pawar , Ishwarlal Jain, Rajendra Shingane (NCP), Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena), Jayant Patil (PWP),  Diliprao Deshmukh and Madan Patil (Congress).

Meanwhile, ED officials said that the purpose of the probe is two-fold: to unravel the money trail in the scam and those who benefited out of it. As per the activist’s complaint, the beneficiaries had reaped Rs 1,000 crore harvest from the scam.

The probe officials also made it clear that there were no plans to conduct searches on the premises of those named in the ECIR. "There may be inclusions or exclusions in the present list," officials said.

By Debasish Panigrahi

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