Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar has been cleared of all allegations in connection with an irrigation scam in Maharashtra as the state's anti-corruption bureau (ACB) has given Pawar a clean chit in the case. The development was confirmed through an affidavit filed in the high court late last month. According to media reports, the affidavit was filed in Bombay High Court on November 27 as the BJP and Shiv Sena's tug-of-war for power continued.
The affidavit was filed a day after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had resigned from the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister.
“Considering facts and evidence collected during the course of inquiry/investigation, it is observed that there is no criminal liability on the part of chairman of VIDC (minister of water resources department),” the affidavit stated.
The affidavit pertains to several allegations against Pawar, who was the minister of water resources between 1999 and 2009, including that of escalating costs in 32 irrigation projects in Vidarbha by Rs 17,700 crore within three months.
The allegations against Ajit Pawar had been a political issue in the run-up to the 2014 state elections. Fadnavis had opened the case against Pawar shortly after his victory.
Pawar’s role is under scanner in the Balganga project in Konkans, but he has not been charged in these. He has also not been named in any of the FIRs, with the probe against him being in the inquiry stage.
Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as CM on November 28 with support from Congress and NCP, to which Ajit Pawar has since returned.