Has Ajit Pawar been given a clean chit in the Maharashtra irrigation scam just days after he ditched his uncle Sharad and joined hands with the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis? News reports on Monday afternoon said this but sources within the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau maintained information was being twisted to present a false picture.
The irrigation scam dates back to the time Ajit Pawar was the irrigation minister of Maharashtra in a Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government. Ajit Pawar was alleged to be at the helm of irregularities in projects awarded by his ministry. The allegations included claims that Ajit Pawar awarded projects at inflated prices.
This weekend, Ajit Pawar in a revolt ditched his uncle Sharad Pawar and joined hands with the BJP. Ajit Pawar took oath as deputy chief minister under CM Devendra Fadnavis, a development that stunned the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, who had almost finalised a deal to form government today, out cold.
Now, news reports claim that Ajit Pawar has been given a clean chit in the irrigation scam. However, sources within the ACB said that this was a misrepresentation of facts. The sources said there are actually 3,000 irrigation projects from Ajit Pawar's time as a minister that are being investigated.
Of these, the ACB has found Pawar NOT to be involved in just nine cases. A note meant to inform a court that the ACB has found nothing against Pawar in these nine cases is being used to falsely portray that Ajit Pawar has been given a clean chit, the sources said.
The sources explained that the note was prepared as the agency had to submit a status report in court on its investigation into the Maharashtra irrigation scam.
The other projects remain under investigation and Ajit Pawar's role in them will be examined, the sources said.