NEW DELHI :
Quick on the heels of senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government in Maharashtra, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Monday dropped nine cases against the deputy chief minister.
While Pawar had been accused in the Rs70,000 crore irrigation scam, the Anti-Corruption Bureau denied any connection between the recent political developments in the state and the closure of the cases.
Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general, Parambir Singh told the media in Mumbai, “In the nine inquiries that have been closed today (Monday), the name of Ajit Pawar has not figured. No irregularities were found in these nine inquiries. These are routine inquiries."
The Congress party, however, smarting from the recent political developments, hit out at the closure of the cases, alleging that the move was undemocratic.
Ajit Pawar could not be immediately reached for a comment.
"Contract killing' of democracy has now also become 'contract killing' of honesty and accountability in Maharashtra. No wonder, the only decision taken in 'public interest' by BJP-Ajit Pawar is to close all cases of corruption & malfeasance. The BJP way of probity in public life," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.
In September, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a case of money laundering under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, and his nephew Ajit Pawar. Both Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar and others were named in connection with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam case to the tune of ₹25,000 crore.
The case is based on a Mumbai Police FIR, which had named former chairman of the bank, ex-deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar and 70 former functionaries of the cooperative bank.