Deposing before the two-member Adarsh inquiry commission for the third consecutive day, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, Congress MLC and one of the promoters of the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society, said that he was instrumental in bringing most of the civilian members in the society.
Gidwani also said that three politicians — former union minister and Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu, NCP legislator Jitendra Awhad and NCP former MP Shrinivas Patil — were included in the society as they would be helpful in the cause of the society.
“Most of the civilian members were brought by me. They are the persons whom I knew,” he said in his deposition on Thursday.
The Adarsh Society was initially meant to include 50 members, 19 civilians and remaining defence employees. The number of members was first increased to 71 and later to 92. Most of these people who were included in the new society were civilians. The promoter had managed to get land from the government by stating that the society would include defence personnel, who had dedicated their life for the country and had been part of the Kargil operation.
Interestingly, Gidwani later added that he was not aware how many members were involved in the Kargil operation.
Gidwani claimed that the society added 19 civilians to the list of the proposed members before the state government issued the letter of intent.
Gidwani said that he, RC Thakur and Brigadier Wanchoo had increased the list of members. This list also included the names of Awhad, Prabhu and Patil.
“We found that the three persons were like minded and therefore it was decided to give them membership of the society,” Gidwani said. He claimed that all of them had approached the society for membership after coming to know about it.
The commission questioned Gidwani on what he meant by like-minded. “My idea of like-minded person is one who will be helpful to the cause of the proposed society,” Gidwani said.
Gidwani also said that in his correspondence with the urban development department, he did not bring to the agency’s notice the security risk of the society coming up near a defence installation.
“I did not bring to the notice that there was a security risk because I did not feel at that time that there was any such risk though I was aware that the land in question was opposite military inspection bungalow,” the Congress leader said.
Gidwani also said that in his letter written to then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on August 2000, he did not mention the objections raised by the defence.
On Wednesday, he repeatedly parried questions on who suggested the inclusion of 40% civilians in the Adarsh society.