Expressing his anger against his inclusion in the CBI charge sheet on the Adarsh housing society scam, former chief minister Ashok Chavan on Wednesday called it a conspiracy by political rivals.
"It is unexpected and unfortunate that my name has been included in the charge sheet. It was a purely administrative issue that was blown out of proportion by my political opponents to malign me and end my political career," said Chavan.
Calling the inclusion 'surprising,' he said: "The judicial commission had made it clear that the land belonged to the state. I was not involved in allotting land or membership of the society."
The charge sheet has come as a shock to the Chavan camp as the former CM was looking at political rehabilitation following the report of the state-appointed judicial inquiry committee ruling that the land belonged to the state.
It felt that the report would compel the Centre to end the CBI probe into the case.
State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre chose not to comment on the issue.
However, ministry sources said that some factions in the state Congress view the development as an embarrassment for the party.
"Chavan is the first CM to be charged for conspiracy to grab land. Though the commission ruled that the land did not belong to the army, the fact remains his in-laws owned flats in Adarsh," said a senior Congress minister.
"If the Chavan camp is expecting help from the party, it should read the signs from the response of the defence ministry, led by Congress nominee AK Antony. The Centre doesn't appear to be keen on bailing him out," he added.
Chavan now has a long legal battle ahead of him. "I have full faith in the judiciary. I am a loyal Congress worker and continue to remain one."