Maharashtra BJP leaders, including state unit president Devendra Fadnavis, presented a cartload of proof while making a presentation before the Madhav Chitale panel on Monday, about alleged financial irregularities in multi-crore irrigation projects.
Mr. Fadnavis and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawde met Madhav Chitale at his office in Aurangabad and handed over 14,000 pages of “evidence” brought to the venue in four bags on a bullock cart.
“We demand that the Madhav Chitale committee should examine the evidence and let the truth come out. The proof submitted by us is enough. We have also sought 15 days’ time to submit more proof. The scam runs into thousands of crores.
Not only officials, but ministers are also responsible,” Mr. Fadnavis said.
Incidentally, the BJP had accused Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of being linked to the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam.
The BJP leaders had written to Mr. Chitale asking for a date to allow the opposition to depose before it, with documents related to alleged irrigation scam.
Mr. Fadnavis said he pointed out critical issues related to cost escalation and alleged ad hoc decisions to clear irrigation projects guided by political compulsions rather than ground realities.
“Our chief concern is to seek action against those responsible for wrongdoing in the irrigation sector. It is a battle we have been fighting for the last few years,” he said.
Following advice from Advocate General Darius Khambata and pressure from the opposition, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan recently gave directions to the Chitale panel to allow opposition leaders and individuals to make submissions on irrigation projects.
However, Mr. Chavan refused to make any constitutional amendments in the structure of the four-member panel, which is expected to give its report in December.
Earlier, the advocate general had promised the Bombay High Court to allow the Chitale panel to allow submissions on irrigation documents.
Mr. Fadnavis had written to Mr. Chitale and Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, asking them to allow deposition by opposition leaders and individuals.