A day after the 690-page Adarsh commission report was rejected by the state government, chief minister (CM) Prithviraj Chavan said it was a disappointing decision for him to take. He, however, stressed that the decision was taken unanimously by the state cabinet in the recently concluded winter session of the legislative assembly in Nagpur.
“Before this decision, the report was discussed at length with senior cabinet colleagues. The findings of the report are quite harsh, but we will try to implement them in some way or the other at the administrative level. We will also put the report on the government website. The report is mostly harsh on people who have got apartments in a quid pro quo manner. Such practices should be avoided in the future,” Chavan told a select gathering of journalists at his official residence, Varsha, on Saturday.
The state government set up the Adarsh commission in January 2011 with retired high court judge justice JA Patil as its head.
The report has indicted three former CMs — Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan. The rejection of the report has already led to a barrage of criticism against the state government.
Chavan is aware of the repercussions, but says whatever has happened has happened. “The negative news against the government will continue for some time. We will take some corrective measures to ensure no violations happen in the future. We also have to strip various authorities and officials of their discretionary powers. These powers were blatantly misused for personal gain. We will come out with a policy that will address various grey areas in administration,” he said.
The CM refused to comment on whether there was pressure from senior Congress leaders to reject the report to protect party bigwigs. However, sources close to Chavan told dna that before tabling the report, the detailed findings of the Adarsh report were shared with prominent leaders in Delhi, including the Congress high command and NCP president Sharad Pawar. “He also told them about the implications of the report in the upcoming Lok Sabha and state assembly elections,” the source said.
“It was unanimously decided to reject the report for the larger interest of the Congress party.
Chavan, who is close to the high command, has silently obeyed the orders,” the source said. The report was deliberately published in English to maintain secrecy, Chavan said. “Had we translated it into Marathi, there was a chance that some details would have leaked. We managed to keep it under wraps for several months,” he said.
Chavan said he did not know when state governor K Sankaranarayanan refused to sanction the CBI’s decision to prosecute former CM Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh scam. “The cabinet did not ask the governor to do this. He took an independent decision using his discretionary powers. I came to know about it through the newspapers the next day,” the CM clarified.
Senior Congress leaders have raised questions about the Adarsh commission report’s findings.
“It is more harsh on some people and soft on others. The findings are scathing and the language used is quite harsh. It has slammed the government and exposed the well-entrenched quid pro quo practice in the government,” said a Congress leader.
Political observers feel that rejecting the report has maligned the Mr Clean image of the CM.