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Who leaked the CAG report?

The report of the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) on the revenues of the state government has caused a stir.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2012 01:50 IST
Shailesh Gaikwad

The report of the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) on the revenues of the state government has caused a stir. While there are different types of reactions from various quarters, those who are at the receiving end of the CAG’s remarks are furiously trying to find out: Who leaked the report?

The report has put several senior Congress ministers, such as industries minister Narayan Rane, cooperation minister Harshvardhan Patil, forest minister Patangrao Kadam, agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and of course, union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, in a tight spot. From the NCP side, it is public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal whose educational institute has come under the CAG’s scanner. This is why the suspense over the source of the leak has become a talking point in the corridors of power. The Congress ministers — who drew the maximum flak in the report — are convinced that the leak was from the sixth floor that houses the offices of the chief minister and deputy chief minister. What they are not sure of is which part of the sixth floor. As usual many Congressmen are blaming the Nationalist Congress Party in general and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar in particular. After all, Pawar will be too happy to embarrass the Congress. Of course, there are a couple of NCP names in the report, including that of Bhujbal, but then, the latter is not exactly in the good books of Ajitdada, say Congresswallahs.

However, party ministers are suspecting something else. Almost all Congress ministers who have come under the CAG fire are also in the long queue for chief ministership. Of them, Deshmukh and Rane are strong contenders for the post. Naturally, the leak comes from the person who gets the advantage if the reputation (if there is one) of these ministers is damaged, they say.

With this kind of whodunit, Congress ministers will probably need Sherlock Holmes to detect the ‘culprit’. Contrary to the mood in the Congress camp, the citizens would welcome such leaks. And now with the Centre telling the Chief Information Commission that the CAG report leak is not a breach of privilege of the legislature or parliament, we can expect some more leaks…

Cultural goof-up
On two occasions in a week, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan landed in an embarrassing situation, thanks to the goof up by officials who are handling state’s cultural affairs. In the first incident, some Catholic groups were refused permission for Good Friday service at a ground in south Mumbai. The officials cited a court order as the reason for not allowing any non-sports activities on the ground. When the irked organisers pointed out that they had held such peaceful events at the same place in the past, minority affairs minister Naseem Khan had to seek Chavan’s attention to grant permission for the function.

On another occasion, Chavan made an announcement in the Assembly that the Nashik residence of Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema, would be converted into a monument. The reality was that the house had already been razed to build a new structure there. The chief minister’s office is now trying to find out who was responsible for the goof-ups.