Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is likely to announce a probe into the Adarsh housing society scam at the end of debate on the issue, which will begin on Wednesday. According to sources, the probe is likely to be conducted by a retired high court judge and would cover the Adarsh file’s journey from 1999 to September 2010.
On Tuesday, Chavan announced in the assembly that the government was ready for a debate on the Adarsh scam. The issue will be discussed in the state legislature on Wednesday after opposition parties stalled proceedings of both houses of legislature, demanding a probe into the Adarsh scam.
“We are ready to conduct a debate on the issue. The government is not shying away from the same,” said Chavan, who on Tuesday held discussions with government officials on the probe. The discussions were significant as the probe could prove to be tricky for Chavan as it could involve investigation into the roles three successive chief ministers of Congress – Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan – played in the scam. Also, two former revenue ministers – Narayan Rane and Shivajirao Nilangekar – could be probed along with over 15 serving and retired bureaucrats.
“The chief minister wants a probe. If the party top brass thinks it could damage the party’s image, he could be asked to go slow on it. If the leadership is already convinced that this would help the party come out clean, there would be not hurdle in announcing the probe,” said a minister, who did not wish to be named.
The legislature’s proceedings began on Tuesday after a two-day break, but legislators from opposition parties disrupted both the houses, demanding the government cancel the day’s agenda and take up an urgent discussion. The opposition was particularly pushing for action against bureaucrats involved in the Adarsh scam.
Opposition leader Eknath Khadse demanded that the government conduct a debate and order a probe by a joint select committee of the state legislature with members from both houses on it. Khadse added that bureaucrats involved in the scam should be suspended immediately to prevent documents related to the Colaba tower from going missing.
Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai, who alleged that attempts were being made to destroy evidence, supported Khadse’s demand for suspension of serving bureaucrats.
There was chaos even in the legislative council, forcing chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh to adjourn the house four times and finally adjourn it for the day.