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Devendra Fadnavis demands CBI and ED probe in irrigation scam

BJP state president Devendra Fadnavis is pushing for an inquiry into the multi-crore scam and wants to take the matter to court if the CM does not act immediately

With the Congress-NCP government already under attack for the multi-crore irrigation scam, BJP state president Devendra Fadnavis fired another volley by demanding probes by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED).

In attack mode: State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis (right) with party’s Lok Sabha MP from the city, Anil Shirole
In attack mode: State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis (right) with party’s Lok Sabha MP from the city, Anil Shirole. Pic/Mohan Patil

Addressing the media yesterday, Fadnavis said that the report submitted by the Chitale Committee, headed by water resources expert Madhav Chitale, has stated that the members and chairperson of the governing council of the State Irrigation Development Corporations are responsible for the financial and administrative lapses.

Report’s revelations
The report has made quite a few revelations about the scam and blamed senior irrigation department officials, public representatives and ministers.

“Considering the content of the report, an inquiry should be held and the matter should be taken to court if immediate action is not taken by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, under whose nose the scam took place,” Fadnavis said.

Opposition parties have targeted Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar as the man responsible for the scam, who was State Water Resources Minister from 1999 to 2009.

Under immense pressure from different quarters, the state government in December 2012, appointed the Chitale Committee to investigate corrupt acts while implementing irrigation projects.

A special investigation team (SIT), headed Madhav Chitale submitted the report on the multi-crore scam to Chavan in March earlier this year.

“The Chitale committee report has taken objection to the post-tender updating work and assigning of project contracts without conducting the tender process. We have filed an RTI and found out that the state government has revised the estimated cost of the project according to the tender’s cost, and all the tender documents were signed by Ajit Pawar,” Fadnavis informed.

He added that R11,000 crore worth of tenders were adjusted with the estimated cost of the project. “The R5s ,000 crore-projects were given to contractors by skipping the tender process,” Fadnavis claimed.

Talking about the upcoming state assembly elections, he said that all members of the Mahayuti alliance will decide on seat sharing after arriving at a consensus.

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