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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Jul 2014

Uddhav praises CM for ordering probe of officials involved in irrigation scam

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 08, 2012
First Published: 00:39 IST(8/10/2012) | Last Updated: 00:39 IST(8/10/2012)

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray has praised CM Prithviraj Chavan for clearing the probe into 45 officials of Vidarbha Irrigation Development corporation (VIDC) on Saturday.

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“We congratulate the CM on taking this gigantic step despite pressure from both NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar. We might have differences of opinion, but this is a bold step. Now we hope that the inquiry is transparent and time-bound,” Thackeray told the media on Sunday.

The inquiry was based on the findings of the one-man VN Vadnere committee report of 2010. The committee was formed following several complaints and media reports over cost escalations and the official-contractor-politician nexus in Vidarbha’s irrigation projects.

There are murmurs that the NCP will pressure the Centre to remove Chavan from the CM post considering his pro-active stand in initiating probes. “Whether the CM is capable or not is another matter. But we request the Congress not to succumb to pressure from the NCP.”

Thackeray said that if the inquiry went the right way, it would also ensure that VIDC’s former chief executive director DP Shirke along with other engineers, known to be close to the Pawars, will now face a probe and all his wrongdoings that led to cost escalations and shoddy work will be exposed.

Thackeray also said President Pranab Mukherjee should not yet inaugurate the Vidhan Sauda in Belgaum. “The legislature building is located in a disputed region. It is still not clear which state Belgaum belongs to — Maharashtra or Karnataka. So I request CM Chavan make a representation to the President along with MLA’s to put this program [of inaugurating the Belgaum legislature building] on hold for now.”


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