Ex-Maha dy CM Ajit Pawar skips date with ACB

Thane: Senior NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar failed to turn up today at the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) office here to answer questions regarding alleged irregularities in the construction of the multi-crore Balganga dam.

Ajit Pawar
Ajit Pawar

In a release, ACB, said that Pawar was scheduled to come to their office in order to answer questions but sent his representatives instead.

ACB is probing alleged irregularities in the multi-crore project in Raigad district upon directions of Maharashtra government.

During its probe, the ACB's Special Investigation Team (SIT) had registered offences against as many as 11 accused, including six government officials, of which five accused have already been arrested.

According to ACB, the draft proposal for the project was prepared out of the blue, flouting all regulations and guidelines.

Incidentally, ACB had summoned Pawar to its office as part of its probe earlier as well, but he had remained absent. Calling him to their office once again today, ACB had given Pawar the option of either appearing in person or through his counsel.

Pawar, who held the irrigation portfolio in Maharashtra when the irregularities took place, was represented by Sunil Musale and two other advocates. According to ACB, Pawar could not be present in person since he was busy with ongoing festivities.

Maharashtra NCP president Sunil Tatkare, who was summoned on September 21 by ACB in connection with the Kondane dam, also did not turn up and had sent his representative instead, stating that he needed time to give an exhaustive reply to ACB queries.

"He (Hardik) will be detained for holding the public gathering illegally without taking prior permission," the IG said.

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) member Ketan Patel said he was not aware about Hardik's whereabouts. "The police first chased us from public meeting and after some distance a police vehicle intercepted one of our vehicles. But we some how ran away..I don't know the status of Hardik and others as to where they are right now," he said.

Meanwhile, Hardik's close aide Chirag Patel said PAAS had applied for permission for the gathering but it was denied by the police.

"This is murder of democracy as we are not allowed to hold a peaceful public meeting for those who have died in recent violence," Chirag added.

Hardik was arrested on September 19 in Surat city when he tried to take out 'Ekta Yatra' without obtaining permission. He was later released on bail by a court.

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