Social activist Medha Patkar today alleged that Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar got Rs 27.5 crore kickbacks in an irrigation project,a charge dismissed as ‘baseless’ by Pawar.
Patkar alleged that Pawar was the biggest beneficiary of the kickbacks,amounting to Rs 43.83 crore,and others who benefitted included senior BJP leaders Gopinath Munde and several bureaucrats. Munde too described Patkar’s allegation as “baseless”.
Responding to Patkar’s allegations,Ajit Pawar said the charges were “baseless”. “I have nothing to do with the claims made by Patkar. The charges are baseless,” Pawar told the reporters here.
“We demand that there be a probe headed by a former judge under the Commissions of Inquiry Act,1952,” Patkar told the reporters here. Asked if she would demand the resignation of these politicians,Patkar said “if they have a good conscience,they themselves will resign.”
“The IT Assessment report based on documents,diary and papers seized from residences of Director Of Mahalaxmi Infrastructure,Dhirendra Anant Bhat,show finest details of who all were paid and how much during the pre-tendering process to ensure contracts,” Patkar said.
“In just one branch canal contract of the Gosikhurd project,with an estimated cost of Rs 287 crores,Pawar,also referred as Dada or AP,took the largest share of Rs 27.5 crore,almost 10 per cent of the project estimate,” she alleged.
Asked about the basis for levelling the charges,Patkar said she was quoting from a report by the Deputy Commissioner of Income tax (Central) circle,Kolhapur. “There is an unholy nexus between politicians,bureaucrats and contractors,specially in irrigation sector,” she charged.
Gopinath Munde also refuted the allegations made by Patkar,saying they are baseless. He said “I don’t know contractor Bhat and have never met him.”