ACB closes nine irrigation scam cases, says not linked to Ajit Pawar

Updated: 26 November, 2019 08:22 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

The ACB also maintained that these were routine inquiries filed by NGOs and local farmers, and that this development does not impact the over 20 FIRs registered in the alleged Rs 70,000 irrigation scam that occurred during the Congress-NCP rule

Ajit Pawar
Ajit Pawar

The intense political storm brewing in Maharashtra took another twist on Monday when the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) closed nine inquiries related to the Rs 70,000 crore irrigation scam in the state, in which Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar is being investigated.

However, Parambir Singh, director general of ACB, clarified that there was no direct co-relation between Pawar being sworn in as the deputy CM and these nine corruption cases. "None of the cases that were closed today are related to Ajit Pawar," said Singh. The ACB also maintained that these were routine inquiries filed by NGOs and local farmers, and that this development does not impact the over 20 FIRs registered in the alleged Rs 70,000 irrigation scam that occurred during the Congress-NCP rule.

Anti-corruption activist Anjali Damania said, "I had given the papers of the irrigation scam to Fadnavis. He went on to fight the election on the basis of these papers, and became chief minister. By inducting Pawar as deputy CM, he (Fadnavis) has done a major disservice to Maharashtra."

A press release was issued on Monday by Ajay Aphale, Additional Superintendent of Police (HQ), of ACB. It said that the nine enquiries were closed because "no criminal offence was made out after enquiry against anyone," and that none of these enquiries was in respect of Pawar, chairman of the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) between 1999 and 2014.

With inputs from Chaitraly Deshmukh

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First Published: 26 November, 2019 08:06 IST

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