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BJP demands independent CBI, ED probe into irrigation scam


Farm Pune: The BJP has demanded an independent investigation by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into alleged irregular financial transactions worth Rs 20,000 crore which fell outside the scope of the Chitale Committee, which probed the irrigation scam in Maharashtra.

Accusing Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan of shielding then irrigation minister Ajit Pawar under pressure from coalition partner NCP, state BJP president Devendra Fadanavis told reporters here that “Chavan misled people about the terms of reference of the Chitale Committee, saying that it will cover the entire scam. However, in his recently submitted report, the water expert pointed out irregular transactions to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore and suggested an independent probe, since these aspects were outside the committee’s jurisdiction”.

Fadnavis said after giving “reasonable time” to Chavan to recommend a CBI and ED inquiry into irrigation irregularities, the BJP would approach the “appropriate court” of law if the party’s demand is not met.

Transactions which fell outside the scope of terms of reference of the Madhav Chitale committee included those related to “post-tender updating” worth Rs 11,000 crore and extended allied works without floating tenders amounting Rs 5,000 crore, he said.

“Maharashtra Chief Minister Chavan is equally responsible for corruption in irrigation projects along with the concerned ministers who signed their approval, since he chose to remain silent and shield the guilty,” Fadanavis alleged.

About the proposed seat adjustment with its ally Shiv Sena for the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra, Fadnavis said all issues related to it would be sorted out by the six parties which formed the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI(Athawale) alliance in Maharashtra.

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