BJP demands CBI inquiry against Ajit Pawar
Asserting that Ajit Pawar's return to the Maharashtra Cabinet has raised questions on Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's credibility, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday demanded that a CBI inquiry with court monitoring should be initiated against the senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader in connection with the irrigation scam.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said it is astonishing that Ajit Pawar has returned to the Maharashtra Ministry without an inquiry.
"Sharad Pawar is on record saying that we need inquiry. And what happened to that demand, even the sentiments were expressed by Sharad Pawar. We demand CBI inquiry with court monitoring so that it will reach to a conclusion. And only after that a decision can be taken," said Javadekar.
"But today's decision of taking back Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister definitely raises the question of credibility as far as Prithviraj Chavan is concerned. His credibility was never questioned, but this decision has raised questions on Prithviraj Chavan's credibility," he added.
Ajit Pawar, who rejoined the Maharashtra Cabinet as Deputy Chief Minister earlier this morning, criticized the opposition for demanding a probe against him.
"Anyone can file a PIL against anyone. If you say that unless the decision on PIL comes out the person should stay out of power then no minister, no Chief Minister, even PM will be able to hold any position and work," he said.
Pawar, who was sworn in at the Raj Bhavan this morning, said that he had made it clear when he had resigned earlier that the White Paper would bring out the truth before the people.
Pawar, who is the nephew of NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, said that his first priority would be to help people who are facing water shortage.
53-year-old Pawar had resigned from the Maharashtra Cabinet in September following charges of corruption in irrigation projects. He was accused of arbitrarily giving away irrigation contracts worth over Rs. 20,000 crore as irrigation minister between 1999 and 2009.
The White Paper on irrigation scam, which was presented before the Maharashtra Cabinet last week, gave a clean chit to Pawar who resigned following allegations of under-performance and corruption in the irrigation sector.