Pawar used Balwa`s plane, alleges Maha Oppn leader
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 20:21
Mumbai: Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Eknath Khadse on Thursday alleged that Union Minister Sharad Pawar had travelled on a plane owned by a company of Shahid Balwa of DB Realty, under arrest in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, to Dubai last year.

Making the allegation in the House during a debate on budgetary demands of the Home department, Khadse said Pawar, his wife Pratibha, Punjab Cricket Association president I S Bindra, BCCI president Shashank Manohar and his wife Varsha had flown to Dubai on February 8, 2010 along with Balwa by Eon Aviation, a subsidiary of the DB group.

ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat and Vinod Goenka of Dynamix were also in the aircraft.

Claiming he had documents from the Air Traffic Control to prove the accusation, Khadse said if film financier Bharat Shah could be put behind bars for two years on the charge of talking to Dawood Ibrahim on telephone, why action should not be taken against Vinod Goenka, chairman of DB Realty, for his relations with the fugitive underworld don.

"Goenka is seen hugging Dawood at the marriage of his (Dawood) daughter in the wedding CDs," Khadse alleged.

Apart from Pawar and his wife, Khadse said, Union Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel and state Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil, had also used Eon planes.

"Builder Jayant Shah, a close associate of former chief minister Ashok Chavan travelled by Eon Aviation aircraft to Nanded in January last year, while On February 1, 2010, Praful Patel and Dilip Deshmukh, brother of Union Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh flew to Nagpur."

Khadse alleged that on April 10 last year, Praful Patel travelled with Balwa and Goenka to Bangalore.

"What are their links with Balwa? I want to know whether they travelled on Eon Aviation planes with him or not," he said.

NCP was quick to rubbish Khadse's claims, with state spokesperson Madan Bafna telling PTI that Khadse was "in the habit of staying in limelight by making baseless allegations."

"By any means, Khadse wants to be in the news. This is why he has levelled such baseless allegations," Bafna said.

Earlier also, the opposition claimed its had "truckloads" of evidence linking Pawar with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim but no such thing has been proved, Bafna said.

Home Minister R R Patil is likely to respond to the charges levelled by Khadse when he replies to the discussion on the budgetary demands of his department.

Pawar himself had also trashed accusations about his links with Balwa.


First Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 20:21

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