Even as BJP leaders submitted a 14,000-page dossier to the special investigation team (SIT) on irrigation scam on Monday, a war has broken out over the origin of these documents and the opposition’s role in the scam.
Aam Admi Party member Anjali Damania, a whistleblower in the irrigation scam, has alleged the BJP’s trip to the SIT office in Aurangabad smacks more of political opportunism than real intent to expose corruption.
“Which of the irrigation documents they [BJP] have submitted have been procured by them? All of them, several availed under the RTI Act by me, have been taken unscrupulously by them. If they were really keen on exposing the scam, they should have moved the court by now,” Damania said.
She said even as senior BJP leader like Nitin Gadkari was seen hobnobbing with Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, and BJP MP Ajay Sancheti-controlled companies had won crores of irrigation contracts in Vidarha, t he party was claiming to expose the scam.
Sources in the BJP admit that a bulk of the party’s documents can be traced to Damania, a public interest litigation filed before the Bombay high court and documents availed under RTI by a former irrigation contractor, which also forms the mainstay of the PIL by an NGO Janmanch in Nagpur.
“We don’t think the issue is about who got the documents, and more about exposing corruption,” said a senior leader.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “These documents are already available with the government, and hence accessible to the committee. This is only a publicity stint by the BJP.”