ACB exonerates Ajit Pawar in Vidarbha irrigation scam

Rules out his role in affidavit submitted in High Court

Maharashtra’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has given a clean chit to NCP leader and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar in the multi-crore Vidarbha irrigation scam. The ACB, in its affidavit submitted in the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, has ruled out Mr. Pawar’s involvement in cases of alleged irregularities in approval and commissioning of irrigation projects in the state.

The affidavit was submitted on November 27, a day before the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress was sworn in the State on November 28.

The court had asked the ACB to clarify its stand on the role of Mr. Pawar, a former Water Resources Development Minister, in these cases. Mr. Pawar, the NCP MLA from Baramati, was Water Resources Development Minister during 1999-2009 when the Congress-NCP combine was in power.

Mr. Pawar had also served as chairman of the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC), which had cleared irrigation projects in which irregularities were alleged.

The affidavit said there were lapses on the part of executing agencies of the tender work – that is engineers, divisional accountants and respective contractors of these projects.

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