Kejriwal releases Maha irrigation scam 'black paper'
Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday released purported details into the Maharashtra irrigation scam, rejecting the whitepaper released by the state government exonerating most top officials initially accused.
Releasing the 'Black Paper' in response to the whitepaper, the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded the resignation of Irrigation Minister Sunil Tatkare, who had presented the government document on Thursday.
Also demanding the establishment of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the irrigation scam, the AAP said its document exposes the modus operandi of how the Rs 70,000-crore swindle was executed by the politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus.
"This Black Paper exposes the farcical exercise of the Water Resources Department's White Paper and proves how bogus an attempt of face-saving it is, largely on account of coalition political compulsions," the party said.
Taking on former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar who resigned following allegations of his involvement in the scam, the APP claimed there was only a 5.17 percent increase during the NCP leader's tenure as irrigation minister from 1999 to 2009.
According to reports, Pawar was among those exonerated by the Maharashtra irrigation department report that was tabled in the state cabinet on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal launched the Maharashtra chapter of AAP on Sunday with a 110-km rally from Mumbai to Roha in Raigad district that took on issues that are plaguing farmers, tribals, fishermen, labourers and the poor.
Kejriwal was accompanied by Prashant Bhushan, Mayank Gandhi, Anjali Damania and other activists in the rally.