New Delhi: Union Minister and former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh reappeared before the Adarsh probe commission on Wednesday. Vilasrao said that although the letter of intent was signed by him as Chief Minister, it was done only because the departments concerned, revenue and finance, had cleared it.
The Revenue minister at the time was Ashok Chavan, while Jayant Patil was the finance minister during Deshmukh's tenure.
He further said, "I signed the letters under the impression that the society was for Defence Officers. In case of allotment of societies, the Collector scrutinises the documents, and then the Revenue department scrutinises it."
He said that although the letter of intent was signed by him, it was done only because the revenue, finance departments had cleared it.
On Tuesday, he had blamed bureaucrats for two key decisions during his chief ministership that of the allotment of land and granting additional floor space.
Deshmukh appeared before the commission after Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde blamed him for clearing files related to the Adarsh Housing Society.
Deshmukh on Tuesday told the Adarsh commission that he wasn't aware of or made aware of any objections raised on the reduction of the width of Captain Prakash Pethe Marg adjoining the Adarsh Housing Society at Cuffe Parade. He reiterated that as the chief minister he wasn't aware of a number of matter relating to allotment of land as allotment was primarily dealt with by the concerned ministers and bureaucrats.
Deshmukh is alleged to have allowed additional floor space index of 2,669 square metres to the society and change in land use that was reserved for a bus depot for residential purpose. Deshmukh held Revenue Department and Urban Development Department in Maharashtra government when the crucial concessions were granted.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Shinde had on Monday blamed Deshmukh and another former state chief minister Ashok Chavan of clearing the Adarsh files. Chavan is scheduled top appear before the panel on June 30.
Seeking to wash his hands off the Adarsh scam, Shinde had told the panel that the decision to allot government land and grant of additional FSI to the housing society was taken when Deshmukh was the chief minister.
Both Shinde and Deshmukh had handled files pertaining to the controversial society during their stint 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.
(With additional inputs from PTI)