BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
Mumbai: Eknath Khadse, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator and the leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, has said that Sharad Pawar, chief of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and union agriculture minister, has close connections with 2G spectrum scam accused Shahid Usman Balwa.
Khadse claimed in the Maharashtra Assembly on March 31 that Pawar had travelled with Balwa to Dubai twice in Balwa’s plane. Khadse also alleged that Shashank Manohar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, was also in the plane. According to Khasde, another NCP leader and Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Praful Patel, also used Balwa’s plane in the past.
The BJP MLA claimed that he had all the evidences and demanded an inquiry.
There was uproar in the Maharashtra assembly on Thursday after Khadse made a sensational claim that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had travelled in a plane owned by Shahid Balwa, key accused in the 2G scam.
He claimed that on February 8, 2010 Sharad Pawar along with Balwa, Shashank Manohar, former ICC president Haroon Lorgat and Vinod Goenka flew to Dubai on a plane belonging to Shahid Balwa’s company Eon aviation.
He said Sharad Pawar took an Eon aviation flight on another instance also though that time Balwa was not with him.
Khadse also claimed that on April 10, 2010 Praful Patel travelled with Balwa and Vinod Goenka to Bangalore.
On seven other occasions, Praful Patel took an Eon aviation flight to various domestic locations.
Khadse also claims state minister and NCP leader Jayant Patil too used an eon aviation flight on two occasions.
Khadse has demanded an inquiry into Pawar’s links with Balwa though Pawar had earlier denied links with the man arrested in the 2G spectrum scam case.
“If Pawar has no links with Balwa then why did he travel to Bangalore with Balwa and Praful Patel,” said Khadse.
NCP MLA Jitendra Avhad though has defended his party chief stating that even the BJP’s Nitin Gadkari and Shiv Sena Execuitve President Uddhav Thackeray too used Eon aviation flights.
“The same plane was used by BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Uddhav Thackeray. What does Khadse have to say regarding that,” said Avhad.
The Opposition has demanded a reply from the state government in the house and home minister RR Patil is expected to respond.