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BJP’s Kirit Somaiya calls Ajit Pawar’s resignation a “sham”

Mumbai, Sept 25 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya on Tuesday termed Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s resignation over irregularities in awarding contracts for irrigation projects a “sham,” and raised questions over state government’s intent to fight graft.

Talking to reporters shortly after Pawar announced his resignation, Somaiya said, “If Congress – NCP were serious, they should have sought resignations from Sunil Tatkare and Chhagan Bhujbal three months back. It’s a sham. The NCP has not let the investigations to start by Anti Corruption Unit. Files have been pending with Home Ministry. Now they are putting up a sham with CBI enquiry.”

He demanded creation of a Special Investigations Team (SIT) to probe scams, and demanded an impartial investigation of PWD, Coal, toll and irrigations scams.

“Toll, coal, irrigation are all scams that need to be enquired. The funds that are deposited in Swiss bank accounts should be brought back to ease prices.We demand a probe by SIT under the supervision of a High Court Judge,” he added.

Somaiya termed Pawar’s resignation a ploy to divert people’s attention from scams.

” It a diversionary tactic of the government to divert the attention of people from other scams,” he said.

Earlier, announcing his resignation, Pawar said that he has communicated the decision to party chief Sharad Pawar, and added that also sent a resignation to the Chief Minister.

“I have worked to the best of my abilities. I will work for the NCP now,” he said.

Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil had earlier on Monday defended Pawar, who is facing allegations of hurriedly giving clearance to 32 irrigation projects.

“NCP is fast spreading its wings in the state. Hence, some of our ministers are facing corruption charges,” he said, while reacting to reports that Pawar granted clearance to the projects worth Rs 20,000 crore in a matter of three months in 2009.

Patil also said that his party would give a befitting reply to the opponents, who are levelling ‘baseless’ allegations. (ANI)