CM Prithviraj Chavan refuses to make Adarsh report public, irks Opposition
Insiders say that the party wants to save itself from embarrassment in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, and doesn't want the report findings to detract from the leverage it hopes to gain from the Food Security Bill
The Congress-led Democratic Front is trying hard to avoid the inevitable, as it avoided tabling a two-member probe panel report on the controversial Adarsh Housing Society yesterday, incurring the wrath of Opposition parties in the process.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan made it clear that the report could not be tabled in the house, explaining the Action Taken Report (ATR) was not ready. This piece of information did not go down too well with the Opposition parties, who were eagerly awaiting the probe panel’s observations.
It is said that Congress bigwigs in Delhi are reluctant to make the report public, fearing that it will embarrass the party in the approaching monsoon session of parliament, scheduled to begin on August 5, and hamper its prospects in the Lok Sabha elections next year. Investigations have indicated that three former state CMs -- Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan -- and other senior officials handled files of the society.
According to a senior leader, the Congress leadership at the Centre is also keen on passing the Food Security Bill, and the Adarsh building report could divert the attention of the electorate from this achievement, and provide the Opposition parties with much-needed ammunition against the Congress. With the party keen on reaping the benefits of the Food Security Bill in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the Adarsh report findings could nullify its effect, he added. Sources claim that these considerations could have spurred the party’s high command to instruct CM Chavan to delay the submission of the report.
Earlier last week, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had announced in the state assembly that the Adarsh report would be tabled in the house before the end of the monsoon session. When the Opposition questioned him over the same issue, he said that the announcement was based on instructions issued by the CM.
The state government is now toying with the idea of submitting the report to the speaker of the assembly. According to policy, the report has to be handed over to the state legislature within six months of its submission to the state government.