Nagpur : The SIT, constituted to investigate irregularities in irrigation scam, will not have power and authority as demanded by Opposition parties and the team will also investigate the irrigation projects, implemented during the BJP-Sena regime.
As the present SIT is all set to turn into another whitewash like the White Paper on status of irrigation, the move is aimed at saving Ajit Pawar, who is at the centrepoint of the irrigation scam controversy, and his party NCP.
Chavan had announced on Friday that SIT would not be constituted under the Commission of Inquiry Act. If the Opposition`s demand had been accepted, SIT would have had the status of a quasi-judicial body which can summon anybody and its report would have been mandatory.
This move is the clear result of the backdoor understanding between the ruling and the Opposition alliances. BJP and Sena quite often stalled the proceedings of the legislature over the demand for a SIT but shrewdly provided the leverage to the State government for announcing the SIT after commencement of Winter Session. They also did not stress the need for announcing the terms and references in the session itself.
“Final decision regarding this will be taken before December 31,” Pawar told newsmen. He also made it clear that the SIT will also investigate into the irrigation projects, implemented during the Shiv Sena-BJP government from 1995-99. This means that the government now wants to expose Opposition parties too or at least dangle a sword over them.
“The SIT will investigate into all irrigation projects since the inception of five irrigation corporations,” Pawar stated. Defending himself, he tried hard to ridicule those who levelled corruption charges against him.