Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday claimed that the Centre imposed President’s rule in the state even after the Governor had asked him to continue as caretaker chief minister.
He also accused his former alliance partner NCP of having a pre-meditated plan to topple the state government.
“After the NCP pulled out of the government, the Governor (VidyasagarRao) first asked me to continue as the caretaker CM. Later, a cabinet meet was held and the President was forced to sign on the file on a Sunday, invoking his rule in the state. He didn’t even get time to seek legal opinion,” said Chavan.
The senior Congress leader said that he knew that ally NCP had a “game plan” up its sleeve the moment it asked for a equal share of 144 Assembly seats and claim on CM’s post for two-and-a-half years.
“I was surprised when they (NCP) asked us to share the CM’s post. I knew after this, the alliance will eventually break. This was their game plan… Hand over the state to the BJP (by pulling out of the government) and in return get a ministerial berth at the Centre,” he said.
On clean chit to Ajit Pawar in the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam, Chavan said that law will eventually catch up with the NCP leader as it did with former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who has been awarded a four-year jail term in the illegal assets case.
“If the Madhav Chitale Committee had given him (Pawar) a clean chit as he claims, why has the court ordered an enquiry against him and (NCP Maharashtra unit chief Sunil) Tatkare? The Chitale Committee report said the Irrigation Development Corporation cannot be chaired by a minister. Was he (Pawar) not a minister then? Our legal system, though slow, eventually delivers. Even Jayalalithaa was convicted after 18 years,” Chavan said.
He said the first thing post elections, if voted to power, will be to do away with corrupt practices.
“I was sent to Maharashtra to clean up the existing system. I tried to do that even though all were against me. A coalition government did not let me do my job completely. But if we get a majority now, my first priority will be to ensure that no minister is a state co-operative Chairman,” he said.