Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan may have been embarrassed enough to offer his resignation, but he may not be the only one involved in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam, according to reliable sources.
The names of the former Chief Ministers — Vilasrao Deshmukh, who was in power when permissions for the proposal were given; Narayan Rane, who was the Chief Minister when the proposal was first submitted in 1999; and Sushilkumar Shinde, who replaced Mr. Deshmukh briefly in 2003 — figure in the scandal.
While all of them have denied their role in clearing files, approving the project or recommending names of their associates for Adarsh flats, finger-pointing has peaked.
Mr. Shinde, whose name is doing the rounds as one of the possible successors of Mr. Chavan said on Sunday that “nothing much is happening in Delhi on the Adarsh front.” “It is only the newspapers which are making a hue and cry,” he said after reaching Mumbai in the afternoon, PTI reports from Mumbai.
On Saturday, Mr. Rane said he had no comments to offer, and the probe was under way. Two of his close associates figure in the list of flat owners.
Forests Minister Patangrao Kadam also figures in the scandal. The Congress ally, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), too has its favoured ones as Adarsh members. Home Minister R.R. Patil, Power Minister Ajit Pawar and Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil are among those who have reportedly recommended people for flats.
Ajit Pawar denies role
Mr. Ajit Pawar said in Pune on Sunday that he did not recommend anybody for allotment of flats in the Adarsh Housing Society. “I have nothing to do with the Adarsh Society,” Mr. Pawar told journalists here. While Mr. Chavan has denied any involvement in favouring the Society or holding meetings with its promoters, the probe will clarify how a society, which violated all existing laws, came up in a prime location in the city, getting all concessions. It did not even have the environmental clearance as the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests has pointed out.
The names of Messrs. Deshmukh and Shinde are being mentioned for the Chief Minister's post if at all Mr. Chavan goes; and it remains to be seen how the party will tackle the issue of their names being publicised in connection with the scam.