Mumbai: Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar, who rejoined the Maharashtra Cabinet as Deputy Chief Minister on Friday, lashed out at the opposition for demanding a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe against him.
"Anyone can file a PIL against anyone. If you say that unless the decision on PIL comes out the person should stay out of power then no minister, no Chief Minister, even PM will be able to hold any position and work," he said.
Pawar, who was sworn in at the Raj Bhavan this morning, said that he had made it clear when he had resigned earlier that the White Paper would bring out the truth before the people.
"How the cost of the project was increased? Why it was delayed? How much irrigation has taken place in Maharashtra and how much water we are giving to the urban and the rural people for drinking purpose? How much water are we giving for irrigation and industry? This has been put forward before the people through White Paper. And everybody has seen how much irrigation has taken place," he added.
Pawar also blamed the opposition of never cooperating on any issue.
"You must have seen it at the Centre and in the states that whoever is in the opposition, it takes steps against the ruling government. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is running the government at the Centre for a second consecutive term, but we all have seen that the opposition keeps on levelling allegations against the government. It has always been the practice of the opposition to oppose," he added.
Pawar, who is the nephew of NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, said that his first priority would be to help people who are facing water shortage.
"Since adequate rainfall has not taken place in Maharashtra, the cattle camp is still on and we are providing the drinking water through tankers even in the month of December. The rainfall will take place in the month of June. So, the first priority of the Maharashtra Government is to help the people of those regions where there is problem of water. And our Chief Minister is also working accordingly," he added.
53-year-old Pawar had resigned from the Maharashtra Cabinet in September following charges of corruption in irrigation projects. He was accused of arbitrarily giving away irrigation contracts worth over Rs. 20,000 crore as irrigation minister between 1999 and 2009.
The White Paper on irrigation scam, which was presented before the Maharashtra Cabinet last week, gave a clean chit to Pawar who resigned following allegations of under-performance and corruption in the irrigation sector.