Ready for probe in Patra Chawl case: Sharad Pawar

The BJP has been demanding an inquiry into Sharad Pawar’s role in the Patra Chawl redevelopment scam.

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Sharad Pawar
Sharad Pawar accused the BJP of misusing central agencies to target Opposition leaders (File)

Sharad Pawar is ready to be probed in the Patra Chawl scam, the Nationalist Congress Party chief said, adding that the truth will come out. The BJP has been demanding an inquiry into Pawar’s role in the Patra Chawl scam.

Investigating leaders of opposition parties is the government’s strategy, Pawar said, criticizing the BJP over the use of central agencies.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the case. In the ED’s chargesheet, it has been mentioned that a meeting was held in the presence of Sharad Pawar - the former chief minister of Maharashtra and former Union agriculture minister.

The NCP clarified that a meeting was held in the presence of Sharad Pawar about redeveloping Patra Chawl on August 14, 2006. A paragraph from the minutes of the meeting was also shared.

Also Read | Sanjay Raut was involved in Patra Chawl scam since inception: ED chargesheet

Party leader and MLA Jitendra Awhad said that all officers and people concerned were present at this meeting.

“Sharad Pawar has held many meetings on several issues in the state. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss, communicate and find a middle way. Swadhin Kshatriya, the former chief secretary of the state, was then the secretary of the housing department,” Awhad said, adding that he has the minutes of this meeting.

No decision was taken at the meeting, he said. Political leaders try to find a way through dialogue and, according to Awhad, the same happened in this case.

BJP’S ACCUSATIONS

Sanjay Raut held a meeting in the presence of Sharad Pawar to award the contract to Guru Ashish Constructions Pvt Ltd to redevelop the slum. Then chief minister of Maharashtra was also present at this meeting. So what is the NCP and the Congress’s connection with Sanjay Raut and Shiv Sena in this conspiracy? BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar demanded a thorough investigation into the case.

Also Read | ED action illegal, no evidence aide was involved in Patra Chawl scam: Sanjay Raut

THE PATRA CHAWL SCAM

In 2007, Guruashish Constructions, a sister firm of HDIL (Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd), was awarded a contract for the redevelopment of Patra Chawl by the Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA).

Guruashish Constructions had to develop flats for 672 tenants of Patra Chawl and about 3,000 flats had to be handed over to MHADA. The total land parcel was 47 acres and the remaining land, after handing over flats to MHADA and Patra Chawl tenants, was to be allowed for sale and development by Guruashish constructions.

The company did not redevelop the Patra Chawl or any other flats that had to be handed over to MHADA and sold land parcels and FSI to around eight other builders for Rs 1,034 crores.

Pravin Raut, now arrested by the ED, was one of the directors of the firm along with Sarang and Rakesh Wadhawan of HDIL, who were the prime accused in the PMC bank scam case. He is also alleged to be a close aide of Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

Also Read | Enforcement Directorate files chargesheet against Sena MP Sanjay Raut, opposes bail plea

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