Tempers fly over tabling leaked CAG report
Furious ministers ask how such a confidential report can be leaked, demand CID probe, argue if it should be tabled at all in the ongoing session of the state legislature
The raucousness ceased to subside over the leaked CAG report that hauls up the ruling Congress-NCP government over controversial land allotments to trusts and institutes run by kin of ministers. It is now being argued whether the report, leaked by BJP MLA Devendra Fadnavis and expected to be tabled in the state legislature on April 16, should be tabled at all.
The argument has engendered differences in the Democratic Front government. In a meeting of the state cabinet held at Vidhan Bhavan yesterday, opinions gushed forth over whether it should be tabled or not. Senior leaders such as Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, Industries Minister Narayan Rane, and PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal were reacting aggressively to the leak, said a minister on the condition of anonymity.
Incidentally, the report made available to the cabinet for discussion was purged of the controversial content disclosed. “How can a confidential report be leaked?” Bhujbal sought to know, as Rane backed him. There should be a CID inquiry into the matter, demanded another minister. Most of the ministers were furious over the leak and some of them even suggested rejecting it. But it was argued that it is not possible under the law, said sources, adding that a suggestion was made to approach the CAG headquarters in New Delhi with the grievances.
As no consensus emerged, another meeting will be called on Friday, where state advocate General Darius Khambata has been asked to be present. The leak was prejudiced, and it’s not part of the original report; this warrants a high-level probe, ministers argued. If the extreme tempers can be taken to be an indicator, the report may not be tabled during the session, they said.