Maharashtra: Ajit back as deputy CM

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 06:44 hrs

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar was re-inducted into the Maharashtra cabinet as deputy chief minister on Friday morning.

Pawar had resigned from the post of the state´s deputy chief minister over an irrigation scam worth thousands of crores of rupees.

He was accused of arbitrarily giving away irrigation contracts worth more than Rs 20,000 crore as irrigation minister between 1999 and 2009.

Governor K Sankaranarayanan administered oath of office to Pawar in the presence of the Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan while the BJP and the Shiv Sena boycotted the swearing-in ceremony.

On September 29, Chavan had accepted Pawar´s resignation from the post of deputy chief minister, days after the latter stepped down.

NCP chief and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had demanded a while paper on irrigation in the state following the resignation of Ajit, his nephew.

On November 29, a report by the Maharashtra irrigation department that exonerated the former deputy chief minister of his alleged role in an irrigation scam was tabled in the state cabinet.

The document was presented by irrigation minister Sunil Tatkare of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) at a two-hour-long meeting of the cabinet.

The Opposition BJP had rejected the report outright, calling it a "whitewash" and "anticipatory bail" for Pawar.

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