Mumbai building issue being examined, says
Defence Minister A.K. Antony Monday said that the government is
"seriously" looking into the construction of a multi-storey
building, with several defence officers among its owners,
allegedly in violation of the rules in Mumbai's naval
Delhi/Mumbai: Even as Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok
Chavan Friday denied any of his immediate family members were
involved in the controversial Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society,
built on land meant for families of Kargil martyrs, and rejected
calls for his resignation, he was called to meet Congress chief
The party has refused to say anything about Chavan, whose
mother-in-law and two other relatives own flats in the society.
The summoning of the chief minister to the national capital to
meet the party chief comes a day after Gandhi met Defence Minister
A.K. Antony to discuss the issue.
Meanwhile, a former navy chief, Admiral (retd) Manvendra Singh
said he and the other ex-service chiefs would return the flat they
"We have no hesitation in returning the flats," he said.
"At no stage were we aware that these flats were meant for Kargil
war widows as claimed by some sections of the media. If this be so
we have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in returning these
flats allotted to us to the authorities concerned," he said.
Addressing media persons in Mumbai, Chavan hinted at a "political
motive" behind the controversy, and said his mother-in-law, who
passed away earlier this year, had got a membership to the society
on her own merit.
Refuting allegations that his family owned around half a dozen
flats in the scam tainted building, Chavan said there is no flat
there in the name of his wife or daughters, but only some distant
They are Madanlal Sharma and Seema Sharma. "Distant relatives, if
they are eligible, then there is no reason to deny them (flats).
Seema Sharma and Madanlal Sharma are distant relatives. Today,
they have informed in writing that they have resigned from the
society," he added.
He said that both have sent in their resignations from the
membership of the society and have sought a refund.
As far as his mother-in-law Bhagwati Manoharlal Sharma was
concerned, she had passed away earlier this year, Chavan pointed
When asked that one of the flats was listed in the name of S.B.
Chavan, the chief minister shot back that his father S.B. Chavan,
a former chief minister and union minister, had passed away five
years ago. "There can be many people having that name," Chavan
Dismissing the clamour by opposition parties for his resignation,
Chavan said he had not been questioned on the issue by the party
high command and so there was no reason for him to quit office.
"There is no question of my resignation. The CBI is probing the
matter. I welcome the centre's decision to order a probe. Let the
CBI come out with its report. Why should I quit? As far as
dragging my name into the incident is concerned, it is politically
motivated," Chavan told a hurriedly-convened news conference at
Varsha, the Maharashtra chief minister's official residence at
Malabar Hill, here late in the evening.
The elite list of beneficiaries includes politicians, former
chiefs of Services, bureaucrats and their kin.
Chavan also declared that the building got the "final clearance"
when he was neither the revenue minister nor the chief minister.
"I have no role in the clearance...from the processing to the
final clearance by the letter of intent to the allotment," Chavan
said in his first official reaction since the controversy erupted
early this week.
"Presently, there are 102 members in the society, of whom 37
belong to the defence (forces). All the plans were approved by the
BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)", he said, putting the
blame at the door of the civic body governed by the opposition
Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine.
Chavan found it strange that nobody raised objections when the
construction of the 32-storeyed building was under way in the past
However, he said that a new policy would be adopted by the state
government on allotment of plots, considering the row over the
Adarsh Society case.
Meanwhile, he said that society's "occupancy certificate" has been
revoked, pending clearance from the central government.
Pakistan population now 184 mn
The population of Pakistan has gone up to 184 million this year
from 119 million in 1990, a report said. The latest report of the
State Bank of Pakistan said the country's population has increased to
184 million this year with an annual growth rate of
victim of partition
I am not much of a talker — never been
one. And my wife never lets an opportunity pass to rub it in.
While I read or endlessly flip television channels, her reproving
glances drill holes in my whole being, for both not talking and
not paying attention to whatever she’s
International shoe fair in Agra
An international shoe fair opens here Saturday in which a
large number of finished leather suppliers, component
manufacturers, machinery and equipment suppliers, accessories,
chemicals, packaging organisations would take part. The Agra
court upholds rebel BJP legislators' disqualification
The Karnataka High Court Friday upheld the disqualification of the
11 rebel legislators of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
from the state assembly by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah. Delivering the
judgment in a packed courtroom
India Day in Dammam draws 10,000 expats
More than 10,000 Indian expatriates and their family members
turned up at the King Fahd Amusement Park in Dammam at the weekend
to celebrate India Day, reports Arab News. For a community
which is scattered throughout
marriages prevalent among Muslims in Kerala'
Child marriages are prevalent among
Muslims in Kerala, and the custom can be combated only by creating
awareness, the state's women's commission chairperson said
Thursday. "We are doing a lot of awareness