No comforting words for Chavan from Congress

Congress today chose not to come to the defence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan whose name cropped in the controversy surrounding Adarsh housing society in Mumbai.

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2010, 22:02 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress today chose not to
come to the defence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan
whose name cropped in the controversy surrounding Adarsh
housing society in Mumbai.

"We are not holding any brief for anyone who might be
responsible...We do not want to shield anyone`s misdemeanour
or indiscretion... Let us await the outcome of the enquiry,"
party spokesman Manish Tewari said.

He was replying to a volley of questions on the issue
including whether Chavan would step down as the name of his
late mother-in-law Bhagwati Manoharlal Sharma has come up as a
beneficiary in the Adarsh co-operative housing society in
Mumbai.

The issue is becoming an embarrassment for the party,
which is leading the coalition government in Maharashtra.

Tewari said that Defence Minister A K Antony has
already stated that the matter will be investigated and action
taken if someone was found responsible.

A senior party leader said that Antony is also in
charge of Congress affairs in Maharashtra and is known for
probity in public life.

Yesterday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi held
consultations with senior leaders Antony and Pranab Mukherjee
in the backdrop of the controversy.

The CBI is investigating how defence land was
transferred to the Adarsh co-operative housing society and how
the beneficiaries, including former services chiefs,
politicians and bureaucrats, raised money to buy apartments
meant for Kargil war heroes and their families.

The Adarsh society in Colaba was originally meant to
be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and
widows but was converted into a 31-storey tower.

Congress managers feel that various issues including
the Commonwealth Games mess, the spectrum allocation row as
also Adarsh apartments controversy could trigger stormy scenes
in winter session of Parliament beginning Nov 9.

-PTI