‘Adarsh’ splits Cong as Deshmukh blames Chavan; gagged by party

Differences emerged in Maharashtra Cong with V Deshmukh accusing CM of changing the building bye-laws.

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: 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 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.
Denying any role in the scam, Deshmukh who as Chief
Minister had signed the "letter of intent and not the final
order", ruled out resignation from the Union Government.

"This application which was made earlier was made to
construct houses for servicemen. That was the main proposal,
but ultimately what happened in between is that they changed
the bye-laws.

"The society was asked to change the bye-laws by the then
Revenue Minister Ashok Chavan. That is on record. He called a
meeting and called members of the society and asked them to
change the bye-laws and 40 per cent of civilians should be
allowed to be members of the society. There it created a lot
of problems," Deshmukh said.

To a question that he had taken the decision of narrowing
the width of the road that was abutting the other societies
and giving it to Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society, he said
"these are subsequent things. The basic problem is why this
issue cropped up. Because a lot of civilians were accommodated
in the society.

"A lot of flats were given to their near and dear ones.
That is the reason the whole thing cropped up. So, if that
decision wouldn`t have been there to change the bye-laws and
allowing 40 per cent civilians, this problem wouldn`t have
been there."

Congress’ gag order

The Congress Monday asked its Maharashtra leaders not to air their views on the Adarsh housing society scam in which Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is under the party scanner.

Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said that leaders having an opinion on the issue have been asked to give it to the two member committee of union ministers Pranab Mukherjee and A.K. Antony who are investigating Chavan`s role after it was found that some of his relatives own flats in the society meant for the families of Kargil martyrs.

"The inquiry is being carried out by two very senior leaders with unblemished record of public service. Anyone who wants to say anything in the matter should give views to them," Ahmed told reporters.

The gag order comes following statements by former chief minister and union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh about Chavan`s role in changing building by-laws concerning the society.

-Agencies inputs