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Why Chavan may not lose his chair soon over Adarsh

By Renu Mittal
October 30, 2010 23:42 IST
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Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is in trouble over the Adarsh Housing Society scam. While he met Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday and gave her the entire information on the housing society, sources say that the chief minister may not be losing power soon as is being speculated, with United States President Barrack Obama arriving in Mumbai on November 5 for a high decibel visit.

Even as a large number of senior leaders of the Congress are lobbying against Chavan, sources say that with the All India Congress Committee meeting to be held on November 2 and president Obama arriving a few days after that, the party does not want to be seen to be creating any problems at this time.

On the day Obama leaves, the Parliament session kicks off, with sources saying that the issue may be deferred till the session is over. That, according to a senior leader, is 'a long time in politics.'

Chavan said that he had offered to resign and it was upto the Congress president to take a final call on the issue. At the meeting, AICC in charge of Maharashtra A K Antony and political secretary to the Congress president Ahmed Patel were also present.

Sources say that the chief minister gave the Congress president a detailed briefing on the issues involved in the scam and is also reported to have told her many other things, including the names of other leaders who had flats in Adarsh society, as well as the 'campaign being run against him.'

Former chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde are said to be getting impatient and want to return to the top post at the earliest. They are also said to have had a role in 'drumming up the campaign against Chavan.'

Chavan said that he welcomed the Central Bureau of Investigation enquiry and wanted that all aspects of the report should be made public so that all the facts on the scam come out in the open.

The AICC general secretary in charge of the media Janardan Dwivedi said that a two member enquiry committee consisting of Union ministers Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony had been set up to go into the entire matter and the party leadership would wait for the report to come out before deciding on the future course of action.

Both the senior most leaders of the party are expected to talk to Chavan in detail and then take a final call.

The Chavan issue is interesting since party general secretary Rahul Gandhi had also played a role in his installation as the Maharashtra chief minister in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack; when despite the best efforts of some
leaders to protect Vilasrao Deshmukh's chair, Rahul was adamant that after such a major incident, political accountability should also be fixed.

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Renu Mittal in New Delhi