Sonia consults Pranab, Antony amid row over Adarsh society

The meeting took place at a time when the issue is becoming an embarrassment for the party, which is leading the coalition government in Maharashtra. 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. It has also now emerged that Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's late mother-in-law Bhagwati Manoharlal Sharma is a beneficiary of the allotment.

A senior party leader said that if things turn out to be as they appear, some recourse will be required to be taken. Another leader, however, said "that nobody can be hanged on the basis of perceptions and anything on the issue can be said only after a thorough probe".

Defence Minister A K Antony is also the AICC in-charge of party affairs in Maharashtra where Gandhi is still to decide on the issue of the next PCC President. Incumbent Manikrao Thakre, who is seeking a second term, has been in controversy after he was allegedly caught on-camera making remarks about party fund collection for a rally which the Congress President addressed in the state.

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