After NCP leader and union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and his daughter Supriya Sule, it is Pawar’s nephew and Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s turn to face allegations of business links with 2G scam suspects. A Marathi TV news channel, IBN-Lokmat, reported on Wednesday that Ajit Pawar had illegally leased land overlooking a scenic water reservoir in Karjat, 60 km from Mumbai, to AG Mercantile, a company owned jointly by him and 2G scam suspect Vinod Goenka. Goenka is a director in DB Realty and a business partner of DB boss Shahid Balwa. Sharad Pawar had recently denied having any business relations with the Goenka family, though he said he had known Vinod Goenka’s father.
The channel claimed that Ajit owned 8,800 shares of AB Mercantile, which now has a resort near the Bilwale dam in the area. The reports said the company was given 93,600 sq ft of land close to the Mumbai-Pune highway on lease for 99 years in 2006 when Ajit headed the state’s water resources department.
It was given an additional 97,000 sq ft in 2008 to build a road and bridge. AG Mercantile built plush bungalows, swimming pools and artificial waterfalls on this land. Ajit said the report was an attempt to defame his family and his party. “I did buy shares of the company on April 30, 2005, but I sold them seven months later, on November 17, at the same price. I have the right to trade shares,” he said.