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 all the allegations of corruption levelled against Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, at a press conference held inside Maharashtra Assembly here.

But the Opposition, led by 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 Paperon irrigation.

The ‘Truth Paper’ says 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 last few years which was witnessed in the local body elections this year. Mr. 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 party alleged.

Its ‘Truth Paper’ adds: “The accusations of a Rs. 70, 000-crore scam in irrigation and only 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 Opposition leaders know how difficult it is to solve the problems of displacement and rehabilitation while carrying out such projects.”

It urges 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 document claims that there has been an increase of 10.56 lakh hectares in Maharashtra’s irrigation capacityin the last 10 years. Calling the accusation of Rs. 70, 000 crore as imaginary, the ‘Truth Paper’ says: “ In the last 10 years, Rs. 42,435-crore have been spent on irrigation projects out of which Rs. 6300-crore were 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 says that the approval was “corrected administrative approval”. It terms the allegation of Rs. 8,00,000 per hectare expenditure on irrigation as “false” and says that the actual per hectare expenditure of irrigation in Maharashtra has gone up from Rs.55, 000 to Rs.5,47,000. Meanwhile, no work could be carried out in the Maharashtra Legislature on the fourth consecutive day of the winter session due to the demand of a SIT probe into the irrigation scam by the opposition parties.