A decision by the Congress party on Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s resignation in the wake of an embarrassing housing scam is expected to take some more time.
“I had said yesterday night we require more time to study the documents and report to the Congress President. That position continues,” Pranab Mukherjee,head of the two-member committee including Defence Minister A K Antony,told reporters after a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
The senior party leader said today’s meeting with Gandhi did not discuss the Maharashtra issue. The discussions related to tomorrow’s AICC meeting,he said.
Another senior party leader Ahmed Patel was also present at the meeting with Gandhi besides Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh,whose ministry’s clearance was also an issue in the matter.
The embattled chief minister,who was in the capital after his meeting with Gandhi on Saturday,left for Mumbai early this morning.
Talk in the political circles was that Chavan had stayed put in the capital to meet Mukherjee who returned here late last evening from West Bengal.
Chavan had offered to resign on Saturday during a meeting with Gandhi in connection with the controversial Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society which was supposedly meant for widows and veterans of the Kargil war.
On his return from Kolkata,Mukherjee had a meeting with Antony last night and had said that he would require some more time to go through the documents related to the alleged scam.
There were reports that more Congress and NCP leaders including three former Maharashtra chief ministers Union Heavy Industry Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh,Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and current Revenue Minister Narayan Rane — 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.
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.