The judicial commission’s findings that the state government owns the plot on which Adarsh society is built and that there was no reservation on the plot for houses for Kargil heroes and defence personnel comes as a big relief for three former chief ministers. Ashok Chavan, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde had been accused of grabbing army land and handing it over for the construction of the residential high-rise, in violation of rules.
In November 2010, Chavan was forced to quit from his post as CM because his kin, including his mother-in-law, had been allotted flats in the society and he was accused of approving civilians as members in the society.
Chavan’s two predecessors, Deshmukh and Shinde - both Union ministers now - too were accused of playing a role in allotting the land and granting sanctions to the society.
The former CMs, who had maintained that they did no wrong as the state owned the land, felt vindicated on Tuesday when the commission’s report was tabled in the state legislature.
Chavan said the truth was out finally. “My party will decide about me. It is my fate that I had to go through this phase. It is sad that some people tried to finish me politically.”
Speaking from London, Deshmukh said: “The report is a big relief. I have been insisting about the ownership of the land, but nobody was ready to listen to us.”
Shinde, who is in Washington, said his opinion was the same as Chavan’s and Deshmukh’s. “I said what I had to to the commission on oath and I’m satisfied today,” he said.
The three will, however, have to stand the scrutiny of the Central Bureau of Investigations and the Bombay high court, which is monitoring its Adarsh probe. The CBI has named Chavan as an accused in its FIR. The trio will also have to face the commission’s probe on violations of rules.
All said and done, the report is likely to help Chavan return to the political scene after a forced two-year hiatus.
Though Shinde and Chavan were rehabilitated in Delhi, they too have had to stay away from state politics.