Deposing before the two-member Adarsh inquiry commission, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, former Congress MLC and one of the main promoters of the controversial Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society, admitted that he had presented wrong facts in letters written to the chief minister and the urban development department.
"It is true that in these letters I have also wrongly mentioned that the land in question was already in possession of the Adarsh society," Gidwani told the commission on Monday.
Gidwani had written three letters in 2000, two addressed to the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and one to the then principal secretary (urban development), AP Sinha, for allotment of land on which the controversial 31-storey Adarsh society today stands.
In his letters, Gidwani had claimed that the land should be allotted to the Military Officers Co-Op Housing Society for defence personnel, who had dedicated their lives to the motherland. He had claimed that the society was in possession of the said land even though the actual possession was with the Local Military Authority.
Gidwani also claimed that till March 2001, he did not inform the chief minister that the society, which had been promoted as one for the defence employees, had civilian members too. "I did not feel it necessary to mention in any of my letters addressed to the chief minister that 40% of membership in the Adarsh CHS was reserved for civilians," Congress leader said on Monday.
Gidwani during his earlier deposition had claimed that he had brought most of the civilian members to the society. On Monday, former MLC also claimed that he had also sponsored the civilian members.
"I was the initiator and advisor of the Adarsh CHS. I sponsored the civilian members of the Adarsh CHS," he said. However, he did not elaborate on what he meant as sponsored.
Gidwani also gave a virtual clean chit to former CM Ashok Chavan. There have been allegations against Chavan that he had asked for the inclusion of civilian members into the society. "There was no discussion with the then revenue minister (Ashok Chavan) and he did not suggest that 40 per cent membership of the said society would be reserved for civilians," the former Congress MLC said.
He further added that the decision to add civilian members was purely his, and that of other two promoters - RC Thakur and Brigadier MM Wanchoo. Gidwani also claimed that he had written handwritten notes, requesting the then chief minister Deshmukh to give top priority for allotment of land to the society. He also claimed that till the society received the letter of intent, he never informed anyone, including the chief minister, ministers or secretaries that he was a member of the society.