The Congress has disowned senior leader Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, an accused in the Adarsh housing society scam.
Gidwani, a member of Adarsh, has been removed from the post of spokesperson of the party’s state unit and head of its consumer cell. The party, however, denied that this was done after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a first information report naming Gidwani as an accused.
Gidwani has been accused of conspiring with Adarsh promoters and government officials for getting the Colaba tower approved illegally. The Union environment ministryhas ordered the demolition of the 31-storey tower terming it illegal. The CBI and the state are conducting separate probes into the scam, while the Bombay high court is hearing petitions related to it.
State Congress president Manikrao Thakre said Gidwani was one of the 10 spokespersons appointed for the 2009 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. “It was a temporary post and we intimated all these spokespersons about their removal in a common letter dated December 12, 2010,” Thakre said.
Gidwani confirmed that he had received the letter. “After getting the directive last month, I did not speak to journalists as the party spokesperson but as an individual.”
“Now, we have only two spokespersons, Anant Gadgil and Ulhas Pawar,” Thakre said.
While Thakre confirmed that Gidwani was divested of the charge of the consumer cell, Gidwani did not confirm this.
Sources in the Congress said that the party would not hesitate from expelling Gidwani if the charges against him are proven.