Mumbai: Prominent RTI activist and IAC member Anjali Damania on Wednesday alleged that BJP chief Nitin Gadkari attempted to cover up the Rs 72,000 crore scam irrigation scam in Maharashtra.

The whistleblower said that when she met Gadkari in Mumbai, he told her not to push too hard to expose the scam.

According to Anjali, Gadkari had said that " We can't do anything in this scam. I have business links with Sharad Pawar. We help Pawar and he helps us".

She had claimed to have met Gadkari three times, once in Delhi in June 2011 and twice in Mumbai, in August 2011 and August 14 this year.

However, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar called her claims ‘rubbish’ by saying anyone can make allegations but it doesn't mean anything. Gadkari too denied meeting her.

Recently, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was forced to quit from the post after his name was mired in the scam.

BPP denies whistleblower charges

BJP rubbished the charge by Damania against Gadkari, alleging that the "dirty tricks" department of Congress is at work to derail the opposition's on-going national conclave.

"On the eve of BJP's national conclave a deliberate and planned effort is being made by the dirty tricks department of the Congress to defame Gadkari and to divert attention from the meet. We deny these baseless allegations," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters in Surajkund where the party's National Council meet is underway, a day after the party’s National Executive meeting.

"The people of Maharashtra know that BJP has always been in the forefront in the fight against corruption and the irrigation scam. There is only one case filed in the irrigation scam and that is a PIL filed by our party secretary Kirit Somaiya," Javadekar said.

Javadekar said BJP leader Devendra Phadnis had raised this issue three years back and demanded a White Paper.

"We have raised this irrigation scam in every Assembly session in Maharashtra as well as in every public meeting," Javadekar said.

(JPN/Agencies)

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