Ashok Chavan: Adarsh scam allegations were politically motivated
Soon after the Bombay High Court ruled that former chief minister Ashok Chavan would not be prosecuted in the Adarsh scam, the Congress leader took a dig at the Governor's office, which had granted sanction to the CBI in 2016 to prosecute him
Soon after the Bombay High Court ruled that former chief minister Ashok Chavan would not be prosecuted in the Adarsh scam, the Congress leader took a dig at the Governor's office, which had granted sanction to the CBI in 2016 to prosecute him.
Ashok Chavan stepped down as CM in 2010, following allegations of corrupt dealings in the Adarsh housing society
"The governor gave sanction to prosecute me, overruling the decision of his predecessor. With today's decision, the governor's office has been saved from setting a new precedent," he said. Chavan added that the court order came because the allegations against him were "baseless and without any proof". He further said that he had always maintained that the case against him was "politically motivated".
Adarsh housing society
Chavan, currently the president of the Maharashtra unit of Congress, had served as CM from December 2008 to November 2010, before he was asked to step down over corruption charges in the high-profile Adarsh housing society scam. The scam had kicked up a huge political storm, and was highlighted by the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
It was after BJP took power in the state that Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao granted sanction to prosecute the Congressman. This, despite the fact that in 2013, Rao's predecessor, K Sankaranarayanan, had denied sanction.
'No fresh evidence'
A high court bench of Justices Ranjit More and Sadhana Jadhav held that the sanction granted could not be "sustained", since it was not based on any fresh material produced by the CBI that could be considered as plausible "evidence" during trial.
Chavan added that BJP should not indulge in politics of vendetta at a personal level. "I suffered personal damage in the last seven years because of the charges against me. I had to quit as CM. But, I am involved in my party work. I am thankful to people in my constituency for standing by me."
Running for CM again?
Asked whether he would be the chief ministerial face for the Congress in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls, Chavan said that any decision in this regard would be taken by the party.
Meanwhile, NCP leader Jayant Patil said the high court's order had exposed the BJP's "false propaganda" during elections. "Like the 2G scam verdict, people are realising that the BJP was involved in a campaign to malign the Congress-led governments at the centre and in the state," he alleged.
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