Election Twists: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi take U-turn on Ashok Chavan

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Sonia, Rahul and Ashok Chavan
Mumbai, March 26: Taking an U-turn against their stand against tainted politicians, Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi finally gave ticket to Ashok Chavan who will contest election from Nanded, Maharashtra. While the former Maharashtra chief minister filed his nomination, Congress President and Vice President faced the heat as BJP and other critics slammed them for allowing Chavan to contest the poll.

Rahul faced the criticism the most as he had declared to have "zero tolerance of corruption". Chavan had resigned as Maharashtra CM in Nov 2010 after his name figured in the Adarsh scam. His successor, Prithviraj Chavan, set up a judicial commission to probe the alleged scam. The commission submitted its report saying Ashok Chavan did allot flats to his close relatives, which amounted to a quid pro quo.

While the commission passed strictures against the former CM, the CBI filed a criminal case against him and 13 top bureaucrats, politicians and military personnel. The CBI's contention was that Chavan had misused his position for the benefit of his relatives. However, citing the latest decision taken by Congress, the main opposition party BJP and other party leaders raised questions regarding the party's stand on corruption.

Can BJP clarify its stance on Yeddyurappa and the Reddy brothers: Chavan

Lashing out at the opposition, Chavan said, "I think the issues on which the opposition is harping on...they have no moral authority to talk on these issues. What about Yeddyurappa? Can BJP clarify its stance on Yeddyurappa and the Reddy brothers involved in the mining issue?"

When pointed out that he was charge sheeted in the Adarsh scam, Chavan said, "Yes, but I have not been convicted. Also, I am not disqualified to contest the election. You see, there are rules, there is a legal provision. So nothing bars me from contesting any election. So the legal position is very clear. Asked how his case was different from Suresh Kalmadi's, Chavan said, "I don't want to comment on his case. The party has taken the decision and I will go by the party's decision."

Meanwhile, Mrs Gandhi defended Chavan while saying, "...as far as we know, Chavan is not barred from contesting the election by any law." Her party member Ajay Maken also said, No court or Election Commission has barred Ashok Chavan from contesting polls. His case is different from that of Suresh Kalmadi. While Kalmadi has been chargesheeted, court has not taken cognisance of the case against Chavan."

OneIndia News

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