Housing scam: Cong may not take long to decide Chavan's fate

Last Updated 31 October 2010, 14:38 IST

The possible time-frame by when the Congress High Command could take a call on the embattled chief minister, who offered to resign yesterday, was given by Defence Minister A K Antony, who is a member of the panel along with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
"It will not take unusual time. It will take normal time," Antony told reporters in New Delhi when asked to comment on enquiry by the panel appointed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to look into the Adarsh Housing Society scam and allegations against Chavan. The panel has also been asked to submit a report.

As Chavan prepared to meet Mukherjee, who returned from West Bengal tonight, TV reports alleged that more Congress and NCP leaders including three former Maharashtra chief ministers--Union Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, current Revenue Minister Narayansinh Rane and Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde-- and Maharashtra minister Ajit Pawar, nephew of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had links with the controversial upscale project.

Deshmukh, Rane and Pawar denied the allegations of any links saying they had not recommended any cases for allotment of flats in the 31-storey housing complex which stands on the land supposed to be meant for Kargil war heroes and widows while Shinde accused the media of making a hue and cry over the issue.

Mukherjee, who was in Murshidabad in West Bengal, said he did not know much about the issue and would look into its details after his return to Delhi."I am yet to look at the details on the issue. I will prepare a report on it along with Antony," he said before leaving for Delhi.

When asked about the controversy, Mukherjee told reporters in Murshidabad, that there was no committee as such.

"Chavan met Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Sonia Gandhi has asked me and Antony to look into the relevant papers and give our observations to her."He noted that Chavan had expressed his desire to tender resignation to the Congress President.

"Before she takes a decision, she asked us to examine the papers and give our observations...How can I sitting in Murshidabad and Mr Antony sitting in Delhi meet. We will meet in Delhi," he said.

Mukherjee however said it is "premature" to come to any conclusion since the panel has nto yet studied the problem.

Questions were also being raised in the chief minister's camp as how action can be taken against Chavan on the Adarsh issue when other Congress leaders from Maharashtra were also allegedly involved. Chavan spent the day here meeting Congress leaders.

(Published 31 October 2010, 14:38 IST)

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