Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar put up a brave front on Tuesday, claiming media reports on the attachment of properties linked to him were baseless, factually incorrect and motivated by slander. Pawar, through his advocate Prashant Patil, clarified that there was no notice from the income tax department nor attachment of any property. Pawar has thereby reiterated the NCP’s line to strongly take on the probe agencies and thereby foil the BJP’s attempt to destabilise the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and discredit the opponents.
However, on Tuesday, the tax officials confirmed that they had provisionally sent orders to Pawar’s relatives who were raided last month, to attach their properties in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Goa and also over two dozen land parcels across the state with a combined market value of around Rs 1,400 crore.
These properties include the Jarandeshwar sugar factory in Satara, valued at Rs 600 crore, a Rs 250-crore resort in Goa called Nilaya, the office of Parth Pawar at Nirmal House in south Mumbai valued at Rs 25 crore, a Rs 20 crore flat in south Delhi and land parcels in over two dozen locations across Maharashtra with a combined market value of Rs 500 crore. Notably, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also probing the Jarandeshwar Sahakari Sugar Karkhana in Satara, controlled by Ajit Pawar’s family, in an alleged Rs 750-crore loan scam case.
Pawar’s relatives have been given 90 days to prove these properties legitimately belong to them and that these were not purchased with illicit money and that during the pendency of the probe, they cannot sell these properties, the source said. According to sources, the benami properties division has issued the provisional attachment orders under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act of 1988, regarding various properties linked to the NCP leader’s family members, including his son Parth.
However, Pawar’s lawyer said, “DCM Ajit Pawar has nothing to do with the action initiated by the income-tax department.” “The income-tax department has sought clarification on some issues and it will be answered appropriately. Proper action will be taken through administrative and legal means,” he added.
Pawar’s lawyer has called upon the press and media to check facts and file reports without falling prey to propaganda.
State NCP chief and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil slammed the BJP for deploying Central probe agencies, including the income-tax department against the Maha Vikas Aghadi, to defame it and misguide the people. NCP chief spokesperson and Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik accused the BJP of playing vendetta politics against its opponents.
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