Reports Emerge Of Ajit Pawar Being Given Clean Chit In Maharashtra Irrigation Scam; ACB Rubbishes ClaimsMaharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar (Twitter/@AjitPawarSpeaks)

Several news reports on Monday (25 November) surfaced claiming that newly-appointed Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was given clean chit in nine cases related to the Rs 70,000 irrigation scam in Maharashtra.

However, the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which is investigating over 3,000 tenders in the alleged irrigation scam issue, denied claims of dropping any case against the Deputy CM.

The ACB officials said that the information was being misrepresented in news reports.

Maharashtra ACB Director General (DG), Parambir Singh told news agency ANI, “None of the cases that were closed today are related to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar.”

He also informed that the Bureau was investigating around 3,000 tenders in irrigation related complaints and these were routine inquiries that were closed, assuring “all ongoing investigations are continuing as they were earlier”.

A number of news reports and social media posts claimed that the Maharashtra government had closed probe in as many as nine cases against the Deputy CM, and began to link the alleged developments with him siding with the BJP in ongoing Maharashtra power tussle.

Some Twitter users jumped to conclusions and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for this. A user wrote, “ The Great Indian Laundry service offered by BJP washing machines with fuzzy stain-remover technology!”

Another user said, “Whether anyone is accused of corruption, rape, murder or terrorism, all cases will disappear on allying with BJP!”

The irrigation scam had allegedly taken place during Ajit Pawar’s tenure as state’s irrigation minister in the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government. He was accused of giving away the projects at inflated price creating irregularities in the tender process.

Pawar, on Saturday (23 November), had surprised his uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar and allied with the BJP. Devendra Fadnavis and He took oath as state’s CM and Deputy CM, respectively, amid the claims that Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress had finalised their negotiations for government formation.

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