Ex CM Shinde passes Adarsh buck to Deshmukh

In a bid wash his hands off the Adarsh scam, union minister of power Sushil Kumar Shinde today told a judicial panel, the decision to allot government land and grant additional FSI to the housing society had been taken during chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh's tenure.

The controversial society's files had been handled by both Shinde and Deshmukh during their respective stints as Maharashtra chief minister. 

"The decision to allot the land in question to Adarsh society was taken prior to my taking over as chief minister. The Letter of Intent (LOI) was issued in favour of Adarsh on the morning of January 18, 2003 when Vilasrao Deshmukh was the chief minister. It was not issued under my instructions and it was never brought to my notice," Shinde said. 

Shinde was deposing before a two-member inquiry commission set up by the state government to probe the Adarsh scam and while  the commission had already concluded that the land belonged to the state government and not the ministry of defence, it was now looking into whether any rules had been flouted while granting various clearances to the society. 

"The additional Floor Space Index to Adarsh from the adjoining BEST land was not granted during my tenure. It was granted after my tenure," Shinde said, in an effort to pass on the buck to Deshmukh who returned as chief minister. 

Asked whether due verification about ownership, value of land and eligibility of members had been done before issuance of  the letter of Allotment (LOA) , to the society on 19 July, 2004, Shinde said, "I did not approve the Adarsh file immediately. Before issuing LOA, I sent it back to the Collector for verification of eligibility of the 51 members and asked the file to be put up before me after due verification."