Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray has raked up the Adarsh housing scam to target former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan and said if the BJP sends him to the Rajya Sabha, it will amount to disrespecting martyred soldiers.
On Monday, Chavan resigned from the Congress and also as an MLA amid speculation that he will join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Chavan said he has not yet decided to join the BJP.
Addressing a rally in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar city on Monday, Thackeray said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier gone to Nanded (Chavan's home district) and spoken about corruption committed by Ashok Chavan. They had said Chavan disrespected families of the martyred soldiers." "But if the prime minister sends him (Chavan) to Rajya Sabha, it will amount to disrespecting our soldiers," he said.
In the past, the prime minister and Fadnavis dubbed Chavan a "dealer and not a leader", Thackeray claimed.
"They had termed the Adarsh housing scam as disrespect to soldiers. I want to ask the PM if he is going to send the person (Chavan) who has disrespected martyred soldiers and their families to the Rajya Sabha?" the former CM questioned.
The backdrop of the Adarsh Building scam mentioned in a white paper tabled in Parliament last week, a scandal that led to Chavan's resignation as the state's chief minister in 2010, has drawn attention as a potential factor in his departure.
Chavan has denied the claim.
He is an accused in the Adarsh housing society scam wherein a 31-storey posh building in south Mumbai was constructed allegedly on land owned by the Defence Ministry without getting the requisite permissions and clearances.
Chavan is an accused under the Indian Penal Code provisions for criminal conspiracy and cheating and under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Some of Chavan's relatives had figured in the list of beneficiaries.
The CBI in 2014 sought to delete Chavan's name from the case but this was rejected both by the special CBI court and later by the Bombay High Court in 2015.
The matter is pending before the Supreme Court which in 2018 stayed proceedings in the case.
Thackeray also said the government should implement the recommendations made by late agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan, who has been conferred with the Bharat Ratna.
"It seems a market of Bharat Ratna is set up. They (BJP) think that conferring the top honour will ensure the votes of various communities. The Bharat Ratna awardees are great figures. But what about implementing MS Swaminthan's recommendations on agriculture?" Thackeray asked.
He also accused the BJP of diverting new investments to Gujarat and "creating a wall between that state and the rest of the country".