Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s decision to reject the Adarsh Commission report has not only come under attack from the opposition parties but has also been questioned by a section of leaders from within the Congress, with Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Milind Deora demanding an investigation into the findings of the report.
“If the Adarsh Committee report raises questions we should investigate... answer them and not be hushed,” Deora tweeted.
The Adarsh Commission report has charged four former Congress chief ministers — Sushil Kumar Shinde, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Ashok Chavan and Shivajirao Nilengekar Patil — of political patronage in the housing project. It has also slammed a dozen senior bureaucrats for violating rules for gains in the project.
The tweet from Deora, who is percieved to be close to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, has found many takers within the party who believe any move perceived to cover up corruption will boomerang against the party in the election year.
Maharashtra Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil said, “The decision to reject the report was based on consensus within the cabinet. So it would be unfair to hold Chavan alone responsible. But I feel the Chief Minister should have explained the reasons why the government was rejecting the Commission’s findings. It would have dispelled a lot of misgivings which are being exploited by the opposition parties.”
A source in the chief minister’s office, however, said, “Chavan did not think it was necessary to explain the reasons for rejecting the report as he had placed a one-page action taken report along with Adarsh Commission report.”
An AICC functionary close to Rahul told The Indian Express, “The entire issue was badly handled politically. We are planning a massive damage control exercise as any attempt to cover up Adarsh Commission will not work to our advantage in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.”
But he admitted, “The Chief Minister personally was not in favour of rejecting the report. He was keen on tabling a detail action taken report. But political pressure from Congress and NCP in the cabinet and a section from central leadership made him take an extreme step of setting aside the report.”
Chavan, who parked himself in Delhi for the past two days, has given a detailed briefing on the development to both AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul.