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NCP slams irrigation scam affidavit on Ajit Pawar as politically motivated

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) dubbed as “politically motivated” the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (ACB) affidavit which claims major lapses on part of former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and others in the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam.

The ACB informed the Bombay high court’s Nagpur bench on Tuesday that its probe into the alleged scam has revealed major lapses on part of Mr Pawar and other government officials.

Reacting to the affidavit’s revelations, NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik questioned why the probe was lingering for four years “while it could have been completed in a year”, and accused the government of using it “as a tool” against the party.

“It is a politically motivated move. We will definitely keep our position before court, and the court will decide, as dada (Pawar) has already said,” Mr Malik added.

Besides questioning the time taken to complete the probe, Mr Malik sought to know why the contracts concerned have not been cancelled yet. He also sought to know why payments were still being made to the contractors, and alleged that cost escalations were also  happening.

“So, they are using it as a tool. And if at all corruption has taken place there…all the contractors belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP will also have to explain if they too were part of the corruption,” he said.

Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan had Wednesday said there was no political interference in the probe into the alleged irrigation scam when the previous Congress-NCP government was in power.

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