Following the anti-corruption bureau's request to the state government seeking permission to start an 'open inquiry' against Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and NCP leader Sunil Tatkare, the BJP today demanded Pawar's resignation on moral grounds.
"(Ajit) Pawar should take moral responsibility and resign immediately," state BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis said here.
ACB yesterday sought permission for 'open inquiry' against Pawar and Tatkare, both senior NCP leaders, over a complaint by activist Pravin Wategaonkar who has alleged corruption in 12 irrigation projects in the last decade.
Fadnavis said the government was harping on the clean chit given by Chitale committee to NCP leaders, but BJP had pointed out that government's claim was false.
"The BJP had said in June that the claims of the state government were false and fabricated. Today our stand has been vindicated," he said.
"Chitale committee report blamed the officials for the irrigation scam but let off the ministers."
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that false allegations were being made to sully the party's image ahead of the Assembly polls.
Meanwhile, speaking in Nagpur, state BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, "It is unlikely that ACB will get the permission from the state government and the governor for open inquiry."
ACB's request to state government followed a complaint lodged by activist Pravin Wategaonkar that in the last ten years more than three contracts were awarded to a particular group, in violation of the rule that prescribes awarding of maximum of three contracts to a single contractor/company.
Pawar and Tatkare, during their respective stints as water resources minister, allegedly favoured this group, the complaint says.