Chavan responsible for Adarsh scam: Vilasrao Deshmukh

Monday, November 1, 2010

NEW DELHI - Differences emerged in the Maharashtra Congress over the Adarsh Housing Society scam, with union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh accusing Chief Minister Ashok Chavan of changing the building bye-laws and bringing in civilians into the cooperative society meant for families of Kargil martyrs.

Deskhmukh, predecessor of Ashok Chavan, said in an interview to CNN-IBN that he had “cleared some proposals sent by Chavan (then revenue minister)”. He also said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had not spoken to him on the matter.

Chavan had met Sonia Gandhi here Saturday and offered to resign in the wake of the allegations that his mother-in-law and two other relatives owned flats in the society.

Besides Chavan, the names of other ex-chief ministers - Deskhmukh and Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde - have also come up among those who influenced the allotments of flats to civilians. Both Deskmukh and Shinde’s names are being speculated in political circles as possible successors to Chavan, in case his resignation is accepted.

On Saturday, Gandhi had appointed a panel of two senior ministers - Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A.K. Antony - to probe the scam.

Mukherjee said Sunday night that the panel wanted more time to probe as it has to “study some documents”. He repeated the statement Monday.

Deshmukh said: “The basic problem why this issue cropped up… because lot of civilians were accommodated in the society, lot of flats were given to their near and dear ones. Thats the reason the whole thing cropped up so if that decision wouldnt have been there to change the by-laws and allowing 40 percent to civilians this problem wouldnt have been there.”

The former chief minister said : “The enquiry is on so cant say unless the result of the enquiry comes out…let there be a thorough enquiry.”

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