The Mumbai Police on Monday grilled BJP’s Leader of Opposition (Council) Pravin Darekar for over four hours in connection with the alleged irregularities during his tenure at the Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank (MDCCB) Ltd.
Following the summons issued on Sunday, Darekar reported at the MRA Marg police station, which lodged an FIR on March 14 based on a complaint by Aam Aadmi Party state general secretary Dhananjay Shinde.
“I will fully cooperate with the police. If needed, I will join the probe again. Today, I have answered all queries and provided whatever information was sought to the best of my knowledge,” Darekar said after stepping out of the police station on Monday evening.
Earlier, several BJP MLAs and hundreds of party workers expressed solidarity with Darekar and staged protests outside the police station as he stepped inside for the probe, alleging that he was being targeted by the state government as part of vendetta politics.
Among other things, Shinde 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 as 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 also said 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.
Prior to AAP, Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari had filed a complaint against Darekar in September 2021 with the Ghatkopar police station, claiming that 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 reiterated that the police are working under tremendous pressure, with the Commissioner of Police (Sanjay Pandey) personally monitoring the investigation.
Monday’s development came a few days after the cyber police station recorded the statement of the Leader of Opposition (Assembly), Devendra Fadnavis, in connection with the infamous phone-tapping scam unearthed last year.