Irrigation scam: BJP carries evidence in bullock cart

Posted on October 21, 2013 from Maharashtra ι Report #13

Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Oct 21 (IANS) Putting pressure on the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders carried bags of documents as evidence in the alleged irrigation scam to the probe panel in a bullock cart Monday.

Four large bags containing documents were submitted as evidence in the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam.

The bullock cart, laden with more than 14,000 pages of evidence, was taken by BJP state president Devendra Fadnavis and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawade to the Aurangabad office of the four-member Madhav Chitale Commission which is probing the scam.

"We demand that the committee examine the evidence we have given and let the truth be revealed. We have sought another 15 days' time to submit more proof on the scam which runs into thousands of crores of rupees with the involvement of officials and ministers," Fadnavis said.

The BJP has accused the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar of being linked to the scam during his tenure as the state irrigation minister a few years ago.

Fadnavis said that critical issues pertaining to cost escalation and ad hoc decisions of clearing irrigation projects were influenced more by political compulsions than the actual ground situation.

State NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik ridiculed the cartload of evidence provided by the BJP, saying it would now lead to further delay in the matter.

Recently, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had directed the inquiry commission to permit opposition parties and individuals to make submissions on the irrigation projects which were being probed.

The alleged scam dates back to 2009 when over 30 irrigation projects worth about Rs.20,000 crore were sanctioned by then irrigation minister and NCP member Ajit Pawar. It is alleged that the clearance for the projects was done without following due procedure.