Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar dismissed allegations by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Devendra Fadnavis that tenders floated for the city’s waterways projects were in favour of a businessman in exchange for the withdrawal of his candidature from the Rajya Sabha (RS) polls.
“I have not become the deputy CM for such dirty dealings. The allegation is false,” said Pawar, who heads finance department, while replying to a debate on the state budget that he presented in the legislative assembly on Monday. “We gave floated global tenders and we plan to execute everything in a transparent manner,” Pawar said. Fadnavis made this allegation without naming the businessman, during a discussion on the budget in the legislative assembly.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the agency that will execute the projects, is headed by Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Tenders for the two projects were floated recently.
Though Fadnavis did not name anyone, he gave the impression the NCP had convinced Pune-based businessman Sanjay Kakde to pull out of the RS fray to ensure their candidate’s victory. Kakde refuted the charge on Wednesday.