SACHIN PAWAR, a BJP worker who was arrested on Saturday for the murder of diamond merchant Rajeshwar Udani, was known to don several hats. He was the former personal assistant (PA) of BJP minister Prakash Mehta, an event manager, ran a pharmaceutical business and a four-wheeler loan agency, and, most recently, became one of the directors of four production houses. He knew several BJP leaders, especially those from Mumbai’s central suburbs.
“Pawar came from a poor family. I have seen him grow literally and metaphorically. He resided in a tenement in Pant Nagar and had studied till Class XII. During his student days, he got involved in party activities of the area,” said BJP leader Bhalchandra Shirsat.
“As an event manager, he worked extremely hard to make ends meet. Mostly, he got contracts for weddings in Garodia Nagar area of Ghatkopar,” he added.
Shirsat said that Pawar was well-spoken, sharp, good at networking and had a very good memory. His profile on his social media account stated that he was the ‘PA of housing minister Prakash Mehta’, a post he ceased to hold in 2009. The account lists several politicians, policemen and mediapersons as his “friends”.
Some of the mediapersons on the list said they didn’t remember meeting Pawar but had received invitations from his account, which they accepted after his stint as Mehta’s PA ended.
“Mehta noticed Pawar and made him his PA in 2004. Pawar also got into the pharmaceutical business and maintained contact with those he had met during his event management days. Eventually in 2009, his association with Mehta ended and Pawar focussed on his business full time,” Shirsat said.
However, sources said that even in the later years, Pawar was seen in Mehta’s office before he was asked to stay away. This was within months of Mehta’s appointment as the housing minister in 2015.
When contacted, Mehta said, “He was my PA from 2004 to 2009. He was also a member of the party till 2010, following which he was expelled. In 2011, he contested the BMC election as an Independent candidate and lost. In 2017, the party re-inducted him, along with some other workers, who had been expelled.”
He added, “His wife contested the recent BMC elections on a BJP ticket. While there were no professional complaint, his wife had approached us due to some issues she had with him. I had asked him to resolve these issues. I don’t remember the last time I spoke to him.”
Pawar was expelled from the party allegedly for campaigning against rivals.
Shirsat said that after Pawar was expelled in 2010, he focussed on his business and also was part of a few production houses that he started in partnership with two others. According to company listing records, Pawar was the director of four media houses.
The police said Pawar was known to be close to a television actor and often met her at her residence. “He had also dabbled in a four-wheeler loan agency, which did not turn out well,” said an officer.