New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Monday said that it had closed probe into alleged irregularities in nine irrigation projects in Maharashtra, adding that the cases were not linked to NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar, who was sworn in as the Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister on Saturday.

“In the list of cases being circulated on social media, none of the cases belong to alleged irrigation corruption case against Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar,” ANI quoted highly placed sources in Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) as saying.

The sources further said that the cases which were closed on Monday were “conditional” and could reopen if more information comes to light or court orders further inquiry. 

"We are investigating around 3000 tenders in irrigation related complaints. These are routine inquiries which are closed and all ongoing investigations are continuing as they were earlier,Maharashtra ACB DG Parambir Singh told ANI. 

"None of the cases that were closed today are related to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar," he added. 

The statement by the Maharashtra ACB came after it was widely reported in the media that the Maharashtra government ordered closure of investigation into 9 of the 20 FIRs registered against Pawar in connection with the irrigation scam case. 

The Shiv Sena and Congress alleged that this was a case of quid pro quo for Ajit Pawar helping the BJP form the government. Sena leader Sanjay Raut had on Saturday said that Ajit Pawar was blackmailed into joining hands with the BJP. 

The rebel Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, who is Sharad Pawar’s nephew, took oath as deputy to CM Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday, claiming the support of all NCP MLAs. The move came as a big twist as on Friday night, the Congress-NCP combine had agreed to join hands with Shiv Sena to form a government in Maharashtra under the leadership of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. 

The scam, pegged at around Rs 70,000 crore, relates to alleged corruption and irregularities in approval and execution of various irrigation projects in Maharashtra during the Congress-NCP rule.

Pawar was among the NCP ministers who were in-charge of the irrigation department at different times between 1999 and 2014 during the Congress-NCP coalition rule in Maharashtra.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta