Maha: BJP leader being grilled by police in bank scam

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The Mumbai Police are questioning Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leader of Opposition (Council) Pravin Darekar in connection with the alleged irregularities during his tenure at the Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank (MDCCB) Ltd, here on Monday.

Following summons on Sunday, Darekar reported to the MRA Marg Police Station, which lodged the FIR on March 14 based on a complaint by Aam Aadmi Party state general secretary Dhananjay Shinde.

Hundreds of BJP activists from the city staged vociferous protests outside the police station as Darekar stepped inside for the probe, alleging he was being targeted by the state government’s vendetta politics.

Among other things, Shinde has alleged that Darekar cheated the government and the MDCCB by impersonating as a labourer to contest the bank’s elections as a Director in the workmen’s category.

He further said that Darekar served the MDCCB Director and two terms as the Chairman, after which a probe was ordered by the Maharashtra Cooperative Department and he was disqualified in January 2022.

Shinde stated that it was during Darekar’s tenure that an alleged misappropriation of MDCCB’s funds to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore took place and sought his resignation as Leader of Opposition.

Besides AAP, Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari had earlier filed a complaint against Darekar in September 2021 with Ghatkopar Police Station, claiming he had mis-declared his professional credentials in his election affidavits and hence was liable for action.

Darekar — who continues on the MDCCB board for the current term (2021-2026) — has consistently denied all the allegations hurled against him in the matter by Shinde and Tiwari, with the latter urging Union Minister for Cooperation Amit Shah to clarify the party’s stand in the matter.

The BJP leader charged the Mumbai Police of lodging the FIR under pressure from the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government which is out to nail him, but assured he would cooperate fully with the investigations.

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