Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday denied all the allegations regarding the Lavasa Hill township project and said that acquired for this project is not agricultural land. He also announced that he would no longer take part in elections, but would continue to lead his party. He insists that the land has been purchased from the villagers after following requisite procedures.
NCP organised a state-level convention at Balewadi, Pune on Saturday which was attended by Pawar and senior NCP leaders. Pawar addressed the media and said, “Many people have levelled accusations at me regarding the Lavasa project, which is baseless. After Independence, the government has not developed any hill station in the state. The British established hill stations such as Lonawala, Matheran and Mahabaleshwar which are popular tourist spots.
Lavasa is an initiative to develop a hill station in the state.”
Reacting to former IPS officer YP Singh’s claim that Pawar is at the centre of a massive irrigation scam in Maharashtra, Pawar protected former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and said, “Many projects get approved by the minister of central or state government but do not get implemented properly on the ground level. In this case, the concerned authority at the district level should be blamed. It was not possible for Ajit Pawar to pay attention to every irrigation project in the state.”
Pawar also said that Anawar Tariq has been nominated for a vacant ministerial post in the NCP for the central government and a letter has been sent to the Prime Minister.