After the resignation of Ajit Pawar, the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the subsequent threat of resignation by 17 more NCP ministers and all NCP MLAs, the political crisis over the Re. 20000 Cr. irrigation scam has worsened. The NCP is to authorize its chief Sharad Pawar to decide the future course after all the drama. However, the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has declined to accept Ajit Pawar's resignation right away.
The scam is probably the biggest state-level bungling of funds which involves Re. 20000 Crore spent on contracts given to private parties, which have not been able to improve irrigation facilities by more than .1% in the state. Besides, there has been heavy cost escalation due to the delays in execution.
Ajit Pawar's resignation came just before a white paper on the scam was to be tabled in the assembly and the CAG begins its audit of 32 projects for which he had allegedly gave illegal clearances between June and August.
Faced with charges of irregularities in irrigation projects during his tenure as water resources minister, Ajit Pawar may be on the back foot, but his party is rallying around him.