The finding of the justice JA Patil-led judicial commission that the state owns Colaba land where the Adarsh tower has come up has brought great relief to the Congress and its leaders.
The commission has submitted in its interim report to the government that the land did not have any reservation for the Kargil heroes.
The Adarsh scam has embarrassed the Congress since November 2010. The party high command asked the then chief minister, Ashok Chavan, to quit because he had allegedly got his relatives four flats in the society and he was accused of approving civilians as members there.
Subsequently, Chavan’s two predecessors, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde, both Union ministers now, too were named for their alleged roles in allotting the land. The ex-CMs, who maintained that they did no wrong because the state owned the land, were vindicated on Tuesday.
Ashok Chavan, who suffered the most in the row, said that the truth was out finally. “My party will decide on me. It was my fate that I had to go through this (unpleasant) phase. But it is sad that some people tried to finish me politically.”
Deshmukh said from London the government allotted the land in accordance with the existing rules. “The interim report is a big relief and it should help us come out clean. I have been insisting on ownership of the land but then nobody was ready to listen to us then.”
Shinde told HT from Washington that he was in agreement with Chavan and Deshmukh. “I have already given my say to the commission on oath and I’m satisfied today.” State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre welcomed the interim report. “It is satisfying that senior party leaders are cleared of the charges.”The state government had approached the commission a few months ago to seek an interim report on the points of title and reservation. The panel was appointed in January last year.