Mumbai/New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) Former police officer-turned-activist Y.P. Singh Thursday alleged that central Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was at the heart of a massive irrigation scam in Maharashtra.
Singh also slammed India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal for "selective exposures" against politicians. He alleged that Kejriwal did not reveal all the information regarding the irrigation scam on which he claimed both he and Kejriwal had worked together.
"IAC had all information pertaining to the irrigation scam but Kejriwal didn't reveal all the facts. He has been selective in revelations," Singh told the media in Mumbai.
Singh levelled several charges at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, his nephew and former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and Sharad Pawar's daughter and Rajya Sabha member Supriya Sule.
He said Ajit Pawar gave away land for the Lavasa hill city project near Pune at throwaway price.
"Ajit Pawar granted 341 acres to Lake City Corp on 30 years lease for just Rs.23,000 per month. In Mumbai, the smallest one bedroom house is not available for that price," he said.
Singh said 20.81 percent shares of Lake City Corp Lavasa belonged to Supriya Sule and her husband Sadanand.
"Ajit Pawar gave the land to this company virtually free. In 2006, Sule and her husband sold shareholding but at what cost," Singh asked, stating that Supriya made a huge gain in the land deal.
In New Delhi, Sharad Pawar rubbished claims by Singh that he (Sharad Pawar) and his family were involved in illegal land acquisition in Lavasa.
Terming Lavasa as India's "first planned hill city project in Maharashtra", Sharad Pawar said the state government had the authority to give the land as per the hill station policy.
"Eighty percent of the 300 acres land is submerged in water and there has been no construction. It has been done as per the policy and there are no two opinions about it," he told reporters.
He, however, conceded that his daughter Supriya and son-in-law had shares in the Lake City Corp. "But they sold their stake around 2005-06 when there was a controversy."
Speaking to CNN-IBN, Sharad Pawar also said he had no idea of the irrigation scam - over which Ajit Pawar had to resign following corruption and bribery allegations.
Earlier Thursday, Singh also accused Kejriwal of taking his (Singh's) favour in the name of the anti-corruption movement and using the documents for "personal political advancement".
"In the name of IAC/NGO, Kejriwal got legal documentation done by me for central ministers. But he used them for his political career," he said.
Singh's claims came a day after Kejriwal targeted BJP president Nitin Gadkari, accusing him of getting around 100 acres of land in Maharashtra after the Congress-NCP government bent rules.
Singh's associate Abha Singh, a laywer, said that Kejriwal's argument that excess land taken from farmers must be returned to farmers countered Supreme Court guidelines.
"According to the apex court, such land cannot be returned to the farmers as it has already been purchased from them. There has to be a public auction of such land," she said.
An unfazed Kejriwal said his revelations about alleged corrupt dealings involving Gadkari were "the tip of the iceberg" and a detailed probe would bring out "more truths".
Kejriwal said: "If there is a detailed investigation, more truths will be exposed. We have just started the process, it has to be taken forward."
The BJP said it stood by Gadkari, adding he had effectively countered Kejriwal's allegations.
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said Kejriwal had attempted to appear equidistant from both the BJP and Congress.