Will react after CAG report is tabled: Vilasrao Deshmukh

Vilasrao Deshmukh
Mumbai, Apr 5: Union science and technology minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Thursday declined to comment on the latest CAG report which is said to have indicted him over a land allotment in Mumbai.

"I would not like to comment on a leaked report. Let the government table it in the legislature, then I will react," Deshmukh told PTI from his hometown Latur, over phone.

The CAG report, yet to be tabled in the Maharashtra legislature, reportedly raps Deshmukh for arbitrary allotment of a plot in Mumbai to a trust founded by him, when he was the Chief Minister.

Accordingly, a 23,840-sq metre plot in suburban Borivali was allotted to Manjra Charitable Trust by the state government on Sept 28, 2005 for setting up a dental college, at an 'occupancy price' of Rs 6.56 crore.

There were four applicants for the plot, and Deshmukh approved the application of Manjra Charitable Trust without assigning any specific reason, the CAG report purportedly says.

When asked about Wednesday's Supreme Court's decision in the Whistling Woods case, affirming high court's decision to cancel allotment of land to Subhash Ghai's film institute during Deshmukh's tenure, the former Chief Minister again refused to comment, saying the matter was sub-judice.

"I have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court to get the remarks passed against me by the high court in connection with the case removed. Notices have been issued and a four weeks' time has been given to file replies," Deshmukh added.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Delhi on Thursday afternoon, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said that Deshmukh has no right to be in the Cabinet and must step down. "The way in which he allotted a land for a media baron, which was stuck down by the high court and the Supreme Court, Deshmukh has no moral authority to be in the cabinet ... he should step down," said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.

"No way you can justify his continuance in the Cabinet," she added.

"The BJP demands his resignation. If he doesn't step down, then the Prime Minister should remove him," she added.


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