Ashok Chavan shifts Adarsh blame to Deshmukh


Mumbai: Maharashtra’s former chief minister Ashok Chavan Monday sought to pin the blame for the irregularities in the controversial Adarsh housing society on his predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh, now union minister for rural development.

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Without naming Deshmukh, Chavan contended that he was not responsible for allotment of the prime land to the Adarsh Society and was not involved with any recommendation to include civilian members in the building meant for armed forces personnel.

Chavan’s statements came in an eight-page affidavit filed before a state-appointed two-man commission of inquiry looking into the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society scam.

In the affidavit before former Bombay High Court judge Justice J.A. Patil and former chief secretary P. Subrahmanyam, Chavan who was revenue minister under Deshmukh when the land was allotted to Adarsh Society, said: “I say that I have acted in a bonafide manner and in good faith and done nothing wrong. I have not done anything illegal during my tenure.”

Chavan said that the plot was allotted by the then chief minister and he had no role to play in it.

Elaborating, Chavan explained that for any plot of value exceeding Rs.2.5 million, or plots in Mumbai, its suburbs or Pune, the allotment powers vested in the chief minister.

Deshmukh, in his affidavit filed before the commission June 17, contended that he had merely acted on a proposal submitted by the revenue department, then headed by Chavan, and the Mumbai collector.

Countering Deshmukh’s contentions, Chavan said in his affidavit: “There was no question of my suggestion that civilian members be included in the (Adarsh) Society and any suggestion that this was discussed with me or that I had suggested or directed or decided on the same is false and denied.”

The Central Bureau of Investigation, which had named Chavan among 14 accused in the scam, has charged him with recommending a 40 percent allotment of flats to civilians in the Adarsh Society, which was meant for housing Kargil war widows or defence personnel.