With the public uproar on the white paper on irrigation, Ajit Pawar is unlikely to make a comeback in the state Cabinet before the winter session of the state legislature, which begins from December 10 in Nagpur.
Opposition and activists pursuing the matter at various levels have termed the report a feeble effort to give the Nationalist Congress Party leader a clean chit. They had accused Pawar of being responsible for irregularities in the sector, following which he had quit from the post of deputy chief minister in September.
“Pawar should not be inducted in the Cabinet before conducting a thorough probe into the charges leveled against him,” said senior BJP leaders Eknath Khadse and Vinod Tawde.
They have threatened to disrupt the proceedings of the legislature if Pawar is made a minister. The BJP also plans to come out with its own black paper to nail Pawar and others.
According to sources in the NCP, while supporters are demanding Pawar’s return, senior party leaders are sensing a political danger in the move.
“The white paper has given the Opposition an issue on a platter. They will create ruckus if they see Pawar in the Cabinet. The situation could go beyond control,” said a senior NCP leader, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The winter session is significant because it generally discusses issues related to the Vidarbha.
The region, in particular, has most irrigations projects that have come under the scanner for alleged corruption to the tune of Rs 26,000 crore.