Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has refuted allegations that his party is protecting Ashok Chavan, who had to step down as Maharashtra chief minister after it emerged his in-laws had flats in the controversial Adarsh cooperative housing society in south Mumbai.
“What I will say is that in the Congress party anybody who does any act of corruption will be taken up and punished,” Gandhi said in an interview on Times Now broadcast on Monday.
“Wherever we have had issues of corruption we have taken action… We are the ones who brought the RTI, which is the single biggest weapon against corruption,” Gandhi replied when asked about protecting Chavan.
“I made my position on Ashok Chavan clear. I made it (in) front of a press conference. I made it absolutely clear exactly what I thought about that issue.”
Gandhi however insisted he believed in making corrections in the system to tackle corruption.
A file photo of Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressing the party workers in Srinagar. (AFP photo)
“We took action on the corrupt ministers. We have passed a bill in Parliament. The Lokpal Bill. The most powerful thing. We got you RTI and we got six bills sitting in Parliament house. We have to change the way the system works. We are always talking about peripheral things. We are never talking about the core reason this system is corrupt,” he said.
When he was asked whether he would take action on Chavan and (Himachal Pradesh chief minister) Virbhadra Singh, Gandhi said: “Anybody who is corrupt should be punished. I am not a judge. So if there is a legal process and there is a result of the legal process, absolutely they should be punished.”
On December 27 last year, Gandhi had said he did not agree with the Maharashtra government’s decision to reject the probe report on the Adarsh scam.
On January 2, the Maharashtra cabinet had partially accepted the report of the judicial commission that probed the housing society scam.