‘We are ready to reconsider Cabinet decision’

Even as the coalition government in Maharashtra grapples with the political fallout of its decision to reject the report of the Adarsh Commission of Inquiry, the Nationalist Congress Party is trying to put the blame on the Congress, in particular on Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

In a pointed statement on Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of the NCP said: “The decision to reject the report was taken by the Cabinet. The Chief Minister is the head of the Cabinet.”

(The commission was set up in January 2011 by the government after it was alleged that former Chief Ministers and bureaucrats violated norms while granting permission to the Adarsh housing society in south Mumbai. The report indicted four former Congress Chief Ministers and two NCP Ministers for extending political patronage to the controversial project.)

Later, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik even said the party was willing to reconsider the decision. “The Chief Minister said he was unhappy about the entire Adarsh episode. We don’t want him to be unhappy. If he wants to change the Cabinet decision, we will support him.”

Referring to Congress Union Minister Milind Deora’s tweet on Wednesday criticising the decision to reject the report, Mr. Malik added, “If this is the view of the party leadership, then the Chief Minister needs to act accordingly.”

“Unanimous decision”

“The entire Cabinet was unanimous in rejecting the report. Now that the BJP has made it an issue and there is public sentiment against the decision, the NCP is trying to distance itself which is unfair,” said a senior Congress Minister.