9 irrigation scam cases closed, but none linked to Ajit Pawar: Official

Ajit Pawar was among NCP ministers who were in-charge of the irrigation department at different times between 1999 and 2014 when the Congress and the NCP were part of the coalition government in Maharashtra. Photo: PTI

Two days after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar pulled a midnight coup joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), investigation was closed into nine of the cases linked to the ₹72,000 crore irrigation scam. However, as official said that Pawar’s name didn’t figure in any of them.

“Ajit Pawar’s name figures in none of the nine inquiries that have been closed today. No irregularities were found in these nine inquiries. These are routine inquiries,” Parambir Singh, DG, Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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The scam, pegged at ₹70,000 crore, relates to alleged corruption and irregularities in approval and execution of various irrigation projects in the state during the Congress-NCP rule.

Ajit Pawar was among the NCP ministers who were in-charge of the irrigation department at different times between 1999 and 2014 when the Congress and the NCP were part of the coalition government in Maharashtra.

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In November 2018, Union Minister Raosaheb Danve — who was then the state BJP president— had said that Pawar can be arrested “anytime” in the alleged scam case.

ACB, DG Paramvir Singh said, “We had recommended this almost three months ago that there was no role of Ajit Pawar in these nine cases. Probe is still going on in other cases. We are investigating around 3,000 tenders in irrigation related complaints. These are routine inquiries which are closed and all ongoing investigations are continuing as they were earlier.”

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Sources in Maharashtra ACB have told ANI that the cases that were closed on November 25 were conditional and that they could be reopened if more information comes to light or the courts order further inquiry.

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