Will ED’s FIR Impact Sharad Pawar’s ‘Power’ in Maharashtra Polls?

Which case pulled up Sharad Pawar’s name, and what impact can it have on October’s ‘Maratha sangram’? We find out.

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Enforcement Directorate has filed an FIR against NCP chief Sharad Pawar just before the Maharashtra Assembly elections. The FIR lists the names of the NCP chief, his nephew and former deputy chief minister of the state, Ajit Pawar, and 70 other people.

The FIR against Sharad Pawar who has been a former defence and agriculture minister has led to a significant impact on the politics of Maharashtra. But how did Maharashtra politics reach this stage? Which case pulled up Sharad Pawar’s name? And what impact can it have on October’s ‘Maratha sangram’? We find out.


Is There a Political Agenda Behind the FIR?

In a press conference on 25 September, Sharad Pawar said he would appear before the ED of his own accord. He also said that going to the jail would be good for him. It is very obvious that this was a message for his voters. The question is: why is action being taken now when this issue that has been lingering for years? In 2014, Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena fought separately and BJP had benefitted from it.

Has the probe been initiated to break the alliance between Congress and NCP?

People who understand the politics of the region are questioning if fear is being instilled in the minds of the bigwigs of the cooperatives by filing a case against Sharad Pawar?

Are Cooperative Societies the Real Target?

The political battle in Maharashtra includes the sugar mills and cooperative societies. And Sharad Pawar is considered its biggest leader, especially in West Maharashtra. In the last elections, BJP secured 19 seats while NCP bagged 16 seats out of the total 58 seats in the state. If BJP wants to achieve its target, it needs to garner more support in west Maharashtra. BJP realises this and that’s why West Maharashtra’s Chandrakant Patil has been made the party chief of Maharashtra.


What Is the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank Scam Case?

The Maharashtra State Cooperative Scam took place between 2009 and 2011, when NCP was in power at Centre and in Maharashtra. As per the allegations, Maharasthra State Cooperative Bank’s Director had violated the rules of the RBI and distributed the money for loan to his allies. The scam is reportedly worth Rs 25,000 crore.

It has been alleged that Sharad Pawar is the NCP head and consequently all of this was done at his behest. It is only in 2014 when Prithviraj Chauhan was the CM in the Congress-NCP government, that he learnt of the irregularities in the functioning of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank.

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