Irrigation scam: Cong, NCP at odds over probe details | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Irrigation scam: Cong, NCP at odds over probe details

mumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2012 01:20 IST
Shailesh Gaikwad
Shailesh Gaikwad
Hindustan Times
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The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party are in discussions to iron out differences over the modalities of a probe into the allegations of a scam in the irrigation sector in the state.

Sources close to the development, who asked not to be identified, said the talks have been going on over the weekend.

Leaders of the NCP, which holds the irrigation portfolio, are of the opinion that a probe by the government itself would be the best option before the courts issue any directive to this effect while responding

to a petition on the irrigation scam.

Deputy chief minister, Ajit Pawar, reportedly favours this option, with a committee of retired bureaucrats or technical experts probing how much irrigation potential was created after spending over Rs42,000 crore on projects and whether due procedure was followed while increasing costs.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is reportedly keen on a judicial probe, but the NCP, especially Pawar, is not ready for it.

The Opposition has been demanding a probe by a special investigation team and disrupted proceedings of the State Legislature in the first of the winter session at Nagpur.

The NCP leaders are open to Opposition's demand for an SIT since it could mean something similar to what they are considering, sources in the party said.

The Opposition has cornered Pawar and his party over the irrigation scam. It has alleged that only 0.1 per cent irrigation potential was created despite spending Rs 70,000 crore over the past ten years. The government has denied the same. Its white paper on irrigation claims the potential created was 5.17 per cent.

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