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Maharashtra: Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar dismisses sugar mill allegations as ‘baseless’

PUNE: Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday refuted all allegations regarding the Jarandeshwar sugar mill case. He said the Enforcement Directorate was investigating the matter and that facts would come out soon.
“I have all the documents. All allegations being made by the opposition are baseless,” Pawar said, showing the documents to the media here on Friday.
Pawar further said the auction of Jarandeshwar sugar mill was carried out as per all the rules and regulations. “A central agency is probing the case and the facts will come out. Other state agencies, such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau, CID and an inquiry committee chaired by a judge had already probed these allegations in the past,” Pawar said.
He said Jarandeshwar mill was sold to Guru Commodity Services Pvt Ltd following the Bombay high court’s orders. Pawar explained the sugar factory failed to repay its outstanding dues. The court gave it a year’s time and said it should be put up for sale if it fails to clear its arrears in this period, Pawar said.
After the mill failed to pay the outstanding amount, the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) floated a tender to which several companies responded, as Guru Commodity Services’ bid of Rs 65.75 crore was the highest, the bank sold the sugar mill to the company, Pawar said.
The deputy chief minister claimed that attempts were being made to mislead people by levelling allegations against specific sugar mills.
Pawar further listed out 65 sugar mills that were either sold through auctions or given on contract and claimed that some were sold in the range of Rs 3-10 crore, but that “no one was raising this issue”.
Asked about BJP leader Chandrakant Patil’s allegations that fuel prices were soaring in the state because of Pawar’s stand against bringing petrol and diesel under GST, the deputy CM said, “If the Centre reduces taxes on fuel, the state government will definitely think about doing the same,” he said.
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