Four years on, NCP MLA arrested in irrigation scam

Rajkot rural police arrested NCP MLA from Gondal Chandu Vaghasia Sunday night, four years after a case was filed against him in connection with a Rs 43-lakh scam that was probed by CID(crime).

NCP claimed he had surrendered following rejection of his anticipatory bail.

"The Gondal MLA was arrested after he surrendered on Sunday night," said Rajkot Superintendent of Police Premveer Singh. A court has sent Vaghasia to judicial custody.

In September this year, Vaghasia had shared dais with national NCP leader Praful Patel, who had made clear the MLA would be fielded again from Gondal.

In 2011, CID had also sought help of Rajkot and Gandhinagar police to arrest him at sight but the MLA was seen in public often. A CID (crime) team led by a deputy superintendent of police was to arrive at Gondal by late Monday evening too seek his custody.

When contacted, state NCP chief Jayant Patel said the party had asked Vaghasia to surrender after his bail plea was recently rejected by the High Court. "Other accused in the case have been granted bail. We are hopeful that Vagashia too will be granted bail. He remains our candidate from Gondal," he said.

A total of 11 people, including Vaghasia, were accused in a case of financial embezzlement in which only 10 lakh out of Rs 53 lakh meant for various irrigation schemes were spent in 2002. Vaghasia was Kotda Sangani sarpanch then.

One of three NCP MLAs in the state, Vaghasia had defeated BJP's Jayrajsinh Jadeja by over 700 votes in the 2007 polls. Soon after winning election, however, his proximity grew with the Congress. In 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Vaghasia was seen campaigning for Congress MP from Porbandar Vithal Radadiya.

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