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ED summons Praful in UPA govt-era Air India scam

New Delhi: The ED has summoned senior NCP leader and former aviation minister Praful Patel next week as part of its money laundering probe related to alleged losses suffered by national carrier Air India in a multi-crore aviation scam during the UPA-era, officials said Saturday. They said Patel, a Rajya Sabha member, has been asked to appear before the investigating officer (IO) of the case at 11 am on June 6 here.

This is the first major action against a political leader in the alleged multi-crore aviation scam that is stated to have taken place during the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh. Officials sources said Patel, a senior politician belonging to Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), needs to be put through certain revelations made by arrested aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar and certain evidence unearthed by the agency in pursuit of this case filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Meanwhile, the NCP leader said in Mumbai that he will be happy to cooperate with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) so that the agency understands the "complexities" of the aviation sector. "I will be happy to cooperate with ED for their understanding of the complexities of the aviation sector," he said.

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