Brings out ‘Truth Paper’ to rebut, point by point, the 41 allegations against him
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday brought out a ‘Truth Paper,’ refuting the allegations of corruption levelled against Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar at a press conference held inside the Assembly here.
But the Opposition, led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Devendra Fadnavis, countered the NCP’s move by publishing an “Untrue Paper.” Mr. Pawar resigned as the Deputy CM in September this year following allegations of corruption in the irrigation department, which was headed by him. But he was reinstated earlier this month after the government presented a White Paper which virtually gave a clean chit to him.
The ‘Truth Paper’ said that in the last 10 years, there had been an increase of 28 per cent in land under irrigation in the State.
“The NCP has been making good progress in the last few years which was witnessed in the local body elections this year. Mr. Ajit Pawar made a great contribution is this regard. Fearing the speed at which Ajit dada expedited the developmental works, the Opposition has planned this conspiracy to target him,” the document alleged.
“The accusations of a Rs. 70,000-crore scam in irrigation and that there had been only a 0.1 per cent increase in irrigated land, was a part of that conspiracy.” The document has rebutted all the 41 allegations against Mr. Pawar, point by point. Through it the NCP also targeted the Opposition, saying it did not know the geography of Maharashtra.
“Dam projects cannot be completed in two days. Even the leaders in the Opposition know how difficult it is to solve the problems of displacement and rehabilitation while carrying out such projects.”
The document urged people to take Maharashtra’s difficult geography into account while making comparison with other States and not look at the Gosikhurdh project in Vidarbha from a “political angle”. “How can we be held responsible for the delay in land acquisition and rehabilitation?”
The party claimed that there had been an increase of 10.56 lakh hectares inirrigation capacity in the last 10 years. Calling the accusation of Rs. 70,000 crore as imaginary, the ‘Truth Paper’ said: “ In the last 10 years, Rs. 42,435 crore has been spent on irrigation projects out of which Rs. 6300 crore was spent on land acquisition and rehabilitation and Rs. 30,500 crore on the actual works.”
On the allegation of speedy approval to projects in Vidarbha, the document said that the approval was “Sudharit Prashaskiya Manyata” (Corrected Administrative Approval).
It termed the allegation of Rs. 8,00,000 per hectare expenditure on irrigation as “false” and said the actual per hectare expenditure of irrigation in Maharashtrahad gone up from Rs. 55,000 to Rs. 5,47,000.