Have done no wrong: Ashok Chavan
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Last Updated: Tuesday, November 09, 2010, 12:55
Mumbai: Ashok Chavan Tuesday said his resignation as Maharashtra Chief Minister does not prove his guilt in the Adarsh Housing Society scam and claimed he was "100 per cent" sure that he will come clean on the issue.

"Acceptance of my resignation by Congress does not prove my guilt in the Adarsh Housing Society scam," Chavan told reporters after tendering his resignation to Governor K Sankaranarayanan.

"I resigned because of the Congress party's moral stand on such issues. I resigned on my own. My resignation has been accepted pending enquiry. The government is not involved in the scam," the outgoing chief minister said.

Chavan, who became the first casualty of the housing scam in which politicians and ex-Army officials are allegedly involved, said that it was not a political set back for him.

"I am 100 percent sure, I will come out clean on this. There are ups and downs in political life. I will continue to work as party worker," he said.

Asked about whether allegations against him was politically motivated, he said: "Let there be a proper inquiry...The truth will definitely emerge."

"I am prepared for an inquiry by any agency the government deems fit," he said.

Chavan said, "I am grateful to party chief Sonia Gandhi for giving the opportunity (to become the Chief Minister)."

When asked who should be his successor, Chavan said that he would not like to comment on that.

Justifying his decision to offer to quit, he said that "perception matters a great deal now-a-days...There was some confusion is people's mind, that confusion had to be cleared."

Despite getting the axe, Chavan, who completed one year in office last Sunday, asserted he still enjoyed the confidence of the Congress president.

"She twice gave me the opportunity to become Chief Minister. I still enjoy the confidence of my leader Soniaji. I am grateful for whatever she has done for me," he said.

About the role his successor was expected to play, he said, "Every person who sits on this (chief minister's) chair is competent. I don't need to give sermons to him."

Chavan, 3rd Maharashtra CM to resign over scams

Ashokrao Chavan became the third chief minister of Maharashtra Tuesday to be consumed by scams and corruption in three decades with belief in astrology even not helping him to survive his worst political crisis.

Changing his name from Ashok to Ashokrao Chavan by adding the honorific Rao last month apparently for astrological reasons did not bring luck to the beleaguered 52-year-old Chief Minister.

Chavan, son of late Congress stalwart and Union minister S B Chavan, was catapulted to the top post in December 2008 after Vilasrao Deshmukh was forced to resign, a month after the Mumbai terror attack. The Chavans are the only father-son due to be chief ministers of the politically important state of Maharashtra.

A R Antulay lost the chief ministership of Maharashtra in January 1982 following the cement scam coupled with a conviction in an extortion case and four years later in 1986 Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil became a victim of the marks scandal. Patil was accused of getting his niece's medical college exam marks upgraded.

The tenure of all the three tainted chief ministers were all for less than two years. Chavan, whose role in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai came under the scanner, lasted one month less than two years. The tenure of Antulay and Nilangekar lasted for 19 months and nine months respectively.

Except for inheriting the Chavan legacy, Ashokrao Chavan was a relatively unknown face and was picked for the top job by the Congress leadership to project a new face in Maharashtra.

Till the first week of October, Chavan, who hails from Marathwada region, seemed to be firmly in the saddle. However, the controversy over allotment of a plot in the posh Colaba area in south Mumbai to Adarsh co-operative Housing society did him in.


First Published: Tuesday, November 09, 2010, 12:55

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