Arvind Kejriwal launches AAP in Maharashtra, vows to expose irrigation scam
Mumbai/Roha: Civil activist Arvind Kejriwal launched his Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Maharashtra chapter Sunday with a rally from Mumbai to Roha in Raigad district.
Led by Kejriwal, the 110-km rally took on issues that are plaguing farmers, tribals, fishermen, labourers and the poor.
During the three-hour rally, Kejriwal lashed out at the Maharashtra government over the irrigation scam and sought support for AAP.
"Issues faced by farmers are important and should be dealt with. The country's biggest irrigation scam has taken place here (in Maharashtra). Farmers are being deprived of their lands and now water," Kejriwal told mediapersons in Roha.
He said AAP's first rally in the state was to address farmers' issues and that they should stand up for their rights.
"Unless all political parties are thrown out, farmers' demands will not be met unless a common man's party acts in the matter. Farmers will not be given their rights unless they are a part of the system," he said.
Kejriwal was accompanied by Prashant Bhushan, Mayank Gandhi, Anjali Damania and other activists in the rally which took the participants three hours in buses and cars to reach Roha, 110 km from Mumbai.
Kejriwal said he would also release a "black paper on irrigation" as against the white paper released by the government, which gave a clean chit to NCP leader and former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in allegations of irregularities worth Rs.20,000 crore in irrigation projects in the state. Pawar was also irrigation minister during 1999-2009.
Roha is the hometown and stronghold of current Irrigation Minister Sunil Tatkare, who is also allegedly involved in financial irregularities in irrigation projects.