The much tainted Irrigation Scam which blotted the previous Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra big time has been put on the backburner for quite some time. But now the new BJP-Sena government has once again forced the scam out of the closet. The Chief Minister Devendra Fanavis has decided to permit anti-corruption bureau to conduct an open probe into the alleged role of senior NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, and Sunil Tatkare in multi-crore. Besides it also allowed ACB to conduct similar probe against Chhagan Bhujbal for his role into Sadan Scam.
The latest development is being seen as the troubled times ahead for all the three leaders. The information came out on Friday in response to a public interest litigation filed by Nagpur-based Janhit Mach, in which the Bombay high court was told that Fadnavis has approved the crucial proposal of the ACB led by director general Praveen Dixit.
During the erstwhile Congress-NCP government, it had strongly opposed the PIL despite the fact that the ACB had sought government nod for an open probe against them. At that time Ajit Pawar had told the state that there was no substance in the complaint against him, since the high-level Chitale committee had already probed the charges and given clean chit to him and Tatkare.
In the PIL, it has been alleged that owing to rampant corruption, the cost of the 38 irrigation projects in the Vidarbha region increased from Rs 6672.27 crore to Rs 20050 crore and finally to Rs 26722 crore. Cost of some of the projects increased almost 33 times.
Now that Fadnavis has granted permission to ACB, a high-level team led by Dixit will record the statement of not only the irrigation officials, but also of the NCP leaders.It will be for the ACB to whether first register a criminal case under the prevention of corruption act or first complete the probe and then register a case.