Maharashtra irrigation scam: Enforcement Directorate may probe Ajit Pawar
Mumbai city news: The ED has also sought information on complaints and documents of the Pune-based firm Raj Group which benefitted from irrigation contracts in Pawar’s tenure. It is also the only irrigation firm, with the accused politicians have personal and business associations, claimed sources.mumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2017 17:22 IST
Two-and-a-half years after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an inquiry against two senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare in the irrigation scam, the Enforcement Directorate has begun to investigate the money laundering aspect of it.
This is likely to bring former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s role under the scanner.
Sources said that the central investigation agency has sought details and files of the scam from the anti-corruption bureau (ACB).
While ACB has filed one charge sheet and two FIRs in two of the irrigation projects under scanner, the NCP leaders accused in the scam have not been indicted in these cases so far.
The ED has also sought information on complaints and documents of the Pune-based firm Raj Group which benefitted from irrigation contracts in Pawar’s tenure. It is also the only irrigation firm, with the accused politicians have personal and business associations, claimed sources.
NCP termed the development as mischievous and a bid to divert attention from the ongoing
farmers’ agitation by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The ED has not sent any notice to Pawar. The BJP-government should stop using investigative agencies to spread such reports and divert attention from real issues such as the farmers’ agitation,’’ said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik.
HT had in 2015 reported on Pawar’s link with Raj Group’s directors Jagdish Kadam and his maternal cousin, and an associate Ram Nimbalkar.
Both the directors were linked to a web of nearly 60 companies associated with Pawar that had interests in realty, construction, infrastructure, wind and hydro power, sugar factories and distilleries.
“It is possible to register a case even if the investigative agency has not accused the suspects in the case,” said a senior ED officer.
“It depends on the outcome of the investigation and we have sought details from the ACB on irrigation scam,”he said.