New Delhi: Minutes after US president Barack Obama departed India for the next leg of his Asia tour Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan and Suresh Kalmadi received marching orders from the Congress High Command. Even as Chavan was asked to shed his post as chief minister of Maharashtra, Kalmadi has been asked to resign as secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP).
"Pending enquiry, his (Chavan's) offer of resignation has been accepted. He has been asked to tender his resignation to Governor (K Sankaranarayanan)," Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said in a brief statement.
He also said Suresh Kalmadi's resignation as secretary of the CPP has been accepted with ''immediate effect."
With the BJP determined to stall proceedings of the Winter Session of the parliament that kicks off today the Congress was forced to act. Criticism had been mounting that the party made absolutely no mention of corruption at its just concluded AICC session, where tainted minsters and functionaries moved around with big smiles on their faces as if all was normal.
51-year-old Chavan had offered to resign after it emerged that three of his relatives were members of the Adarsh housing society in upmarket Colaba. Kalmadi's tenure as chief of the just concluded Commonwealth Games turned into a national scandal with estimates of the money involved ranging as high as Rs70,000 crore.
Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi has been forced to move on this issue even before finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and defence minister AK Antony have submitted a report on the housing scam. She had asked both these senior leaders to submit their report, fixing responsibility for the scam, immediately after it was first exposed.