Nitin Gadkari received favours from Ajit Pawar: Kejriwal

Activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal today alleged that BJP president Nitin Gadkari's business interests were "flourishing in Maharashtra even as farmers were dying."

At a press conference Kejriwal alleged that Gadkari had "kept silent" in the alleged Maharashtra irrigation scam, which recently led to the resignation of former Mahararashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

He alleged that "Gadkari's organisations" had been favoured by Pawar during land acquisitions for irrigation projects and at least two  families in a Maharashtra village had been threatened by the henchmen of the BJP leader.

"We attach herewith stories of two families from a village. Land in this village was acquired by Maharashtra government to construct dams. Land acquired was far in excess of actual requirements. According to rules, the excess land should either be returned to farmers or leased out to them for farming," said a press release from Indian Against Corruption.

"Flouting these rules and despite repeated requests from farmers, the excess land was handed over to Nitin Gadkari's organisations by Ajit Pawar, the then irrigation minister. This was also in violation of rules because land belonging to irrigation department cannot be transferred or leased to private organisations. When farmers protested, they were threatened by Gadkari's henchmen," Kejriwal said.

"When the interests of farmers were being sold out to favorite industrialists, why was Nitin Gadkari silent? Why did he not raise his voice against it?" said the press release.