Housing scam puts Chavan, Deshmukh in line of fire

Housing scam puts Chavan, Deshmukh in line of fire

However, fate has brought them together in the line of fire ––while Chavan, as the state revenue minister, helped clear the Adarsh Society proposal and got its quota for civilians increased to 40 per cent, his then boss was none other than Deshmukh.

As the then chief minister, Deshmukh was equally responsible for the acts of his then ministerial colleague, feel  the Opposition parties, who have already demanded the resignation of both these leaders.

Meanwhile, two-member Congress panel of Defence Minister A K Antony, who also is the party’s in charge for Maharashtra, and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, has begun its work to find out what exactly went wrong in the issue and who did it.

Chavan has already briefed Antony about the scam and must have revealed more beans, about the role played by other politicians. He also met Mukherjee on Sunday and presented his side of story.

However, if Chavan’s resignation is accepted, sources said the Congress will find it difficult to find a replacement for him. Being the chief minister, Chavan knows too well the involvement of other Congress politicians.

Take this: When the Adarsh Society approached the state government for the land at Colaba in 1999, Narayan Rane was the chief minister of the Shiv Sena-BJP government. He gave initial sanction to the proposal for transfer of land.

Two years later, when the society got the letter of intent from the state government, Deshmukh was the chief minister. And 2004, when the land was finally allotted, Sushilkumar Shinde was at the helm of affairs.

The society began its construction in 2005 when Deshmukh was back as the chief minister. After the building completion, it got Occupation Certificate from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) this year.

The man who put the proposal on fast track in 2000 and forced modification in its membership by increasing the civilian participation to 40 per cent, Ashok Chavan, is the chief minister of the state since December 2008.

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