The Congress bowed to “perceptions” by removing Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra Chief Minister and Suresh Kalmadi as secretary of the Congress parliamentary party on Tuesday and, at the same time, sought to take the high moral ground on the issue of corruption as it has been keen to prevent allegations of graft from sticking.
The party leadership directed Chavan to submit his resignation to Governor K Shankaranarayanan within hours of the departure of US President Barack Obama and ahead of the start of Parliament’s winter session, where the Opposition was planning to put the UPA in the dock over the Adarsh Society scam and the Commonwealth Games mess.
Chavan and Kalmadi’s axing helped the party defuse the Opposition’s attack in Parliament to some extent on the opening day, though the non-UPA parties are ready to take the battle to the next level by asserting that mere resignations are not enough.
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who along with Defence Minister AK Antony is part of the Congress panel looking into the Adarsh case, submitted his report to the party leadership on Tuesday.
Mukherjee told reporters: “I am not sitting on value judgement. We have taken a decision (to accept Chavan’s resignation) based on reports, certain perceptions and some facts. This is not an inquiry committee. In politics, you take decisions based on perceptions.”