Mumbai: India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal has appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to accept Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar`s resignation in the wake of the opposition furor over an irrigation scam.
Kejriwal said Chavan faces a moral test on the issue.
"Prithviraj Chavan is regarded as an honest Chief Minister, an honest person. We would like to appeal to him that Prithviraj Chavan is having a sort of test, an examination. We can understand that he is facing all sorts of pressure. Will he come under pressure and save his government and not accept Ajit Pawar`s resignation? Or would he be successful in his test and accept his resignation? His resignation must be accepted," he said.
"And, we would like to appeal to Prithvirajji that he should not come under any pressure, be it from the party command or from anybody," he added. Kejriwal further accused the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of blackmailing the entire country, and not just the Maharashtra Government.
"A drama has been going on since yesterday that Ajit Pawar gave in his resignation and all the NCP ministers also followed suit. What does this mean? It means that they would loot, and if any probe is held against this, or if the media raises this issue, then they would resort to blackmailing. Then, they would walk out of the government and talk of collapsing the government. This is wrong. It is like blackmailing the country. It is not just blackmailing the government, but blackmailing the country as well," said Kejriwal.
Kejriwal also said a special investigative agency must be established to probe the matter.
"We demand that a special investigative team be made. The investigative team should be made under the supervision of retired honest judges from the Supreme Court or High Court. It is a very sensitive issue and if it is not probed and the scams are continued to carry on like this then farmers would continue committing suicides, which would be wrong," he said.
Ajit Pawar resigned amid charges of irregularities in granting administrative approval for projects involving several billions of rupees during his decade-long tenure as Maharashtra`s irrigation minister, 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.