Devendra Fadnavis: HC won't accept new affidavit in irrigation scam
Devendra Fadnavis has said that the new affidavit contradicts the ACB's own old affidavit and that it wasn't brought to his notice during his two-day CM tenure last month
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that the findings of the revised affidavit with regard to the corruption allegations in the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) projects submitted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to the Bombay High Court have contradicted the agency's earlier findings. The court would not accept the new affidavit, he claimed.
"I don't agree with the findings of this affidavit. How can it contradict its own affidavit filed in the same case earlier," Fadnavis told mid-day on Friday, adding that the revised affidavit hasn't given Pawar a clean chit because not even 50 per cent of the (project) tenders had been probed so far. The new affidavit wasn't brought to his notice in the short period that he served as a chief minister last month before resigning.
The new affidavit was filed a day after the second Fadnavis government went out. "The affidavit was not submitted to me or anyone in the government. It was done at the ACB level. I had resigned a day earlier," said Fadnavis, who late last month was also accused of giving a clean chit to Pawar in the nine tenders immediately after taking over the reign a second time with support from NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who had assured the backing of his party's 54 MLAs. The ACB had then clarified that Pawar's name was not mentioned in the cases that were closed.
Affidavit blames govt officials
The revised affidavit which was signed by the investigating agency's Nagpur SP has squarely blamed the officials for not informing the then VIDC chairman and water resources minister Ajit Pawar. The accusations were about cost escalations and payment of mobilisation advance to the contractors. The Prithviraj Chavan-led Congress-NCP government had issued a white paper on the water resources projects between 1999 and 2009.
Pawar had resigned as the DCM and come back after the white paper was published. The BJP which was in opposition then had made a big issue out of it and accused Ajit of defrauding the government. It had become the election plank in 2014 that contributed significantly to the BJP's victory. The BJP government had then instituted inquiry in the allegations.
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