In a massive development, former Deputy CM Ajit Pawar on Friday has been been given a clean chit in the irrigation scam by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), according to ANI. The affidavit was submitted by the ACB to the Bombay High Court on November 27, a day after both Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar tendered their resignation as CM and Deputy CM. The affidavit states that 'Chairman of VIDC (Ajit Pawar) can't be held responsible for acts of executing agencies, as there's no legal duty on his part '. Ajit Pawar is touted to be NCP's top pick for Deputy CM which will be decided upon after December 21.
Maharashtra’s anti-corruption bureau (ACB) clears NCP's Ajit Pawar of allegations in irrigation scam.The affidavit, submitted on 27 Nov at Bombay HC,states 'Chairman of VIDC (Ajit Pawar) can't be held responsible for acts of executing agencies,as there's no legal duty on his part pic.twitter.com/C31dKmyABQ— ANI (@ANI) December 6, 2019
Previously on November 25, the Maharashtra ACB chief confirmed that no clean chit has been given to Ajit Pawar in the multi-crore scam. ACB had stated that it had closed the investigation into 9 open inquiries which were pending with the headquarters for over two months. The ACB had stated that only the routine cases have been shut, while the political ones remained and that the inquiry was underway. The nine cases that have been closed are related to irrigation projects in Washim, Yavatmal, Amravati, and Buldhana of the Vidarbha region.
The irrigation scam dates back to the time Ajit Pawar was the irrigation minister of Maharashtra in a Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government. Ajit Pawar was alleged to have awarded the projects at inflated rates, hinting at irregularities in transactions. Moreover, it was the Fadnavis-led BJP-Shiv Sena government which had ordered a probe into Ajit Pawar's alleged role in the irrigation scam. The agency has gone through 3,000 tenders that were sanctioned by Ajit Pawar and his party colleague Sunil Tatkare.