Congress should not just pretend to take action, but act against corrupt: Sena

The Maharashtra Opposition on Tuesday termed grossly inadequate the resignation of Ashok Chavan as Chief Minister.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena said action should be taken against all Ministers and bureaucrats allegedly involved in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.

BJP State spokesman Madhav Bhandari told journalists here that not only the State and Union Ministers but also the bureaucrats and defence personnel involved in the scam should be brought to book. “Nothing much is achieved by Mr. Chavan's resignation.” Mr. Chavan's resignation was a clear acceptance of the scam by the Congress.

Echoing a similar view, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray told a press conference: “Accepting the resignation of [Ashok] Chavan and [Suresh] Kalmadi is clearly not enough. The Congress should not just pretend of taking action, but should act sternly against the corrupt. Action should also be taken against other Ministers like Vilasrao [Deshmukh] or Sushil Kumar [Shinde] and senior government officials involved in the Adarsh scam.”

(Mr. Kalmadi was the chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.)

“Internal politics”

Mr. Bhandari said the fact that the Congress chose to act on the issue years after the scam came to light hinted at the internal politics to placate Mr. Chavan. “The Central Bureau of Investigation should also investigate if Mr. Chavan has fallen prey to the internal politics within Congress,” he said.

To a question, Mr. Bhandari said it was not the work of small State-level politicians. “Such kind of politics happens at the high command level. It should be investigated whether the high command wanted to do away with Mr. Chavan without giving him any reason.”

“What about the top bureaucrats like IAS officers who took a flat for signing on the file? The Congress should clarify its position on this matter and also on the issue of the possible action against defence personnel involved in the scam,” Mr. Bhandari said.

Asked why the BJP woke up so late to protest against the issue, he said the media and the Congress were also aware of the scam but they had not taken it that seriously either. He denied the involvement of any BJP member in the housing society. “We haven't singled out anyone for criticising or for protecting. We want proper action against every culprit.”

Mr. Thackeray criticised Mr. Chavan for claiming that the party had asked him to resign on moral grounds and not because it had found him guilty. “Why did he resign if he says he is not wrong? He should have explained it to the high command,” the Sena leader said.

“Transparent probe”

Mr. Thackeray said the probe should be transparent and should instil faith in the people that the guilty had been punished. “During 26/11, the Congress-NCP had rehabilitated the then Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Home Minister R.R. Patil soon after sacking them,” he said.

When asked about Sena MP Suresh Prabhu, who also owns a flat in Adarsh, Mr. Thackeray said Mr. Prabhu did not hold any government office and was in no position to influence a transparent probe.

Talking about the alleged corruption in the Commonwealth Games, the Sena leader said accepting Mr. Kalmadi's resignation was not enough. “People should be told where the siphoned off money went,” he said.

More In: National | News