Maharashtra irrigation scam: Sharad Pawar to meet NCP leaders

      Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will meet Members of the Maharashtra State Assembly from his party here today, to take a final call on whether or not his nephew and senior party leader Ajit Pawar should go ahead with his resignation as the state's deputy chief minister. Pawar is expected to meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan as well to take stock of the overall developments, and seek ways to end the political crisis in the state. Tension has been brewing between the Congress and the NCP ever since Chavan announced his intent to flag a White Paper on the alleged Rs.72, 000 crore irrigation scam that suggests that Ajit Pawar was involved, and prompted his threat to resign. Pawar has been accused of granting administrative approval for projects involving several billions of rupees during his decade-long tenure as Maharashtra 's Irrigation Minister bypassing procedural rules, although he averred that he was ready to face a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He is accused of having cleared over 30 projects during his tenure, without the necessary procedural clearances.

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