Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pawar flew with Balwa to Dubai

MUMBAI: The leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly, Eknath Khadse, alleged on Thursday that agriculture minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar travelled with DB Realty's Shahid Balwa to Dubai on a plane owned by the latter's company on February 8, 2010.

Pawar was accompanied by his wife Pratibha, he charged. The allegations were made in the House during a budgetary debate.

Khadse said that the plane used for the flight was owned by Eon Aviation, a subsidiary of DB Realty Group. The BJP leader said he has ATC records to prove his accusations. He claimed that DB chairman Vinod Goenka, ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat, BCCI president Shashank Manohar and his wife Varsha, and cricket administrator I S Bindra were also on the plane.

Khadse claimed he also has evidence of Pawar flying on an Eon Aviation plane on many other ocassions. Adding that there was no harm in renting out chartered planes, Khadse sought clarification on the nature of travel. He also sought explanation on flights in which Balwa accompanied other NCP leaders.

The NCP, however, rubbished the claims saying the planes were owned by the firm and not Balwa alone. The party filed a counter-charge claiming that BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray had also flown on Eon planes. BJP dared NCP to produce evidence.

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