ED attaching Maha sugar mill: Politically motivated action, says Shetti

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Pune, Jul 2 (PTI) Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana president Raju Shetti on Friday claimed Enforcement Directorate's action against a sugar mill in Maharashtra's Satara district was politically motivated and demanded a probe into the purchase of 43 sugar mills by leaders cutting across party lines.

The Jarandeshwar Sahkari Sugar Karkhana, located in Chimangaon-Koregaon and worth over Rs 65 crore, was attached under an anti-money laundering law in connection with the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam by the ED on Thursday, which also claimed that a company allegedly linked to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and his wife were involved in the matter. These allegations have been denied by Pawar.

'I have been saying for sometime now that ED, Income Tax, CBI have become weapons in the hands of those who are in power at the Centre, and they are being used for political blackmail. Yesterday's action is part of this,' Shetti, a former Lok Sabha MP, said.

Shetti alleged that 43 sugar mills were sold at throwaway prices and he had approached several agencies in the past five years demanding probes into these transactions but in vain.

'I went to High Court against 89 people who were responsible for the sale and purchase of these mills. The court asked me to get an FIR filed in the case, but the police never filed a case,' Shetti said, adding that he had approached ED, SEBI, Income Tax seeking an inquiry into the source of funds for the purchase of these mills but no one paid heed.

'All these 43 mills belong to common farmers in the state, but just to blackmail politically, a single probe gets started and once the person joins the party, then the probe is stopped. If such things are going to happen, then I have an objection. Leaders from all big parties in the state have purchased these sugar mills and all of them must be probed,' he said.

Queried on deputy CM Pawar's name cropping up, Shetti claimed he could give names of leaders of the BJP, Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress who could be linked to such issues.

Accusing the ED of working 'politically'. Shetti said he had handed over evidence on the sale and purchase of sugar mills to the agency five years ago but no action was taken, till the ED was 'told by someone to take selective action against someone'. PTI SPK BNM BNM BNM

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