Kejriwal says Gadkari deep in irrigation scam
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The India Against Corruption grouping on Wednesday alleged that BJP president Nitin Gadkari sought and secured for a trust run by him 37 hectares of land which was acquired but not utilised by the Maharashtra government for construction of a dam in Nagpur region. It claimed the allocation was made in violation of rules and alleged a nexus between Gadkari and the NCP claiming that the land was allotted "by Ajit Pawar, the then irrigation minister".
The IAC claimed that 31.598 hectares were given to Gadkari's 'Purti Sinchan Kalyankari Sanstha' in Wardha in 2005 and 5.36 hectares later in 2007, overruling objections made by the irrigation department secretary and despite the demands by villagers that they wanted to buy back the land that was not utilised. The IAC said according to rules, "excess land should either be returned to farmers or leased out to them for farming".
At its much-hyped press conference, IAC's Arvind Kejriwal alleged that a quid pro quo between Gadkari and the Congress-NCP government of Maharashtra. Kejriwal as also his IAC colleagues Prashant Bhushan and Anjali Damania alleged that rules were bent by the Maharashtra government to favour Gadkari.
"When Gadkari receives a favour from the ruling coalition of Congress-NCP in Maharashtra in the form of irrigation dam water and farmers' lands, what does he offer in return as quid pro quo? He assures them that as opposition, he would not allow his party to speak against the ruling establishment's corruption. He assures them that even if his party is forced to oppose due to media pressures or political compulsions, the opposition would merely be cosmetic," Kejriwal alleged.
Kejriwal alleged Gadkari business interests were hurting the farmers of the region.
The issue which IAC raised pertains to acquisition of land in Khursapur village in Umred taluk in Nagpur district for construction of the Lower Vena Vadgaon Dam.
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