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White Paper on irrigation not an enquiry report: NCP

November 29, 2012 19:58 IST

The Nationalist Congress Party on Thursday said that the White Paper on irrigation projects in Maharashtra was not an enquiry report but a compilation of the status of various projects in the state.

NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said there was no probe going on in the irrigation department and hence there was no question of a clean chit being given to former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

"There is no scam in the department which Ajit Pawar held for nearly ten years. No rules have been bent, there was no corruption or irregularities," Malik asserted.

When asked why Ajit Pawar resigned in the first place, Malik said, "There were baseless allegations against the NCP and a White Paper was under preparation. It is a compilation of the status of various projects in the state. Ajitdada resigned to avoid any controversy about him influencing the White Paper."

To a question on whether Ajit Pawar would return to the ministry after the White Paper, Malik said the rank and file of NCP wanted him back in the ministry.

"Let the White Paper be received, then the party will take a call on Ajitdada's return to the ministry," he added.

Responding to a question on reports that the Centre had stopped funds under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme and sought clarifications about certain projects, Malik said seeking clarifications did not mean that an enquiry was going on.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had recently said that the Centre had stopped the release of AIBP funds.

Malik also maintained that there was no dispute between the Congress and the NCP over the White Paper on irrigation.

The findings of the White Paper are likely to be presented to the state cabinet later on Thursday.

Chavan had sought a White Paper on irrigation projects in the state amid reports of huge escalation in the costs of several projects and insignificant increase in the land brought under irrigation.

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