Ajit Pawar clean chit in irrigation scam: Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar was given a clean chit by Maharashtra’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam a day before the Shiv Sena, Congress and Congress alliance government was sworn in, a report in The Indian Express said. In an affidavit filed the before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on November 26, a day after Devendra Fadnavis resigned as the CM, the ACB states that the Pawar, as the chairman of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) and the Minister of Water Resources Department can’t be held responsible.
"The Chairman of the VIDC/ Minister of WRD cannot be held responsible for the acts of executing agencies, as there is no legal duty on his part," the 16-page affidavit undersigned by Rashmi Nandedkar, ACB SP, Nagpur, states. Ajit Pawar served as the Water Resources Minister and chairman of VIDC in the Congress, NCP government more than a decade ago.
Notably, the ACB had also closed nine "queries" in the alleged scam against Ajit Pawar on November 25, a day before both he and Fadnavis resigned as deputy CM and CM respectively hours after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly. Three days later, on November 28, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as the new chief minister.
The ACB had never named Pawar in the case, however, during the assembly election campaign, the BJP had raised the issue and Pawar’s alleged involvement in it.
After coming back to the NCP following a rebellion that lasted for little over 80 hours, Ajit Pawar is now said to be keen on getting the deputy chief minister’s post. However, his uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar is said to have already committed the post to Jayant Patil.