Nagpur: Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday accused NCP leader Praful Patel of “ruining” flag carrier Air India and sought a probe against him in the multi-crore scam at the Mumbai-based Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank).
The senior BJP leader also alleged huge loans were approved on phone calls during the Manmohan Singh government, which weakened the financial condition of state-run banks.
The Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change was talking to reporters here. Without naming Patel, Javadekar said, “Certain person who is facing ED probe...his role in PMC Bank bankruptcy case should also be probed.”
Patel, who was the civil aviation minister in the UPA government, on Friday went to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Mumbai after being summoned by the agency in a money laundering probe linked to the alleged illegal assets of late Iqbal Mirchi, an aide of underworld don and terror accused Dawood Ibrahim.
“This person was regularly using the aeroplane belonging to some of the accused in the PMC bankruptcy case. Similarly, who gave the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) development work near the Mumbai airport to the accused and why? Hence, more investigation is required to find out who else is involved in the PMC bank scam,” Javadekar said.
The minister’s statement was aimed at the promoters of real estate group HDIL, Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan, who are the prime accused in the PMC Bank scam. They are among the five arrested in the case.
The troubled realty firm was mainly into handling the SRA projects. It had bagged one such project near the Mumbai airport, but could not complete it.