TIA correspondent

NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI: Hectic activities are going on in congress headquarters here for choosing successor of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. Several names are doing round for the post of CM. 

Early on Saturday Chief Minister Ashok Chavan offered to resign from post following reports of scam in Adarash Housing Society in Mumbai. Talking to media persons in New Delhi after his  meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Chavan said: “he has left it to the party chief to decide on his successor”. 

Prithviraj Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Vilasrao Deshmukh, , Narayan Rane and Mukul Wasnik are in race for the post. But each of them has some positive and negative aspect of their political career in the state.  According to sources Prithviraj Chavan could be a best choice for high command.  

He has a clean image and has no connection with any scam. He has good equations at Centre and he is a Maratha from western Maharashtra.  

Ashok Chavan said, he has placed all the facts related to the housing society before Sonia Gandhi and welcomed the CBI inquiry into it. He maintained that the land, on which the housing society had come up, belonged to the state government and suggested that there were other chief ministers who were involved in the decisions taken on the project.  

AICC General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi informed media persons that the party President has asked senior leaders Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony to give a report on the whole matter. He said that any further development on the issue would take place only after their report. 

Chief Minister reached New Delhi early this morning and met senior Congress leader Ahmad Patel before meeting with the Congress President. Defence Minister and senior Congress leader who is in charge of Maharashtra, A.K.Antony held consultations with Sonia Gandhi late last night after he asked Army and Navy to ascertain facts about the ownership rights of the land used by the society.  

Senior party leaders in New Delhi confirmed that the high command is upset with Chavan whose relatives have been reportedly allotted flats in the society.  

Meanwhile, the BJP has demanded immediate resignation of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan for his alleged involvement in the matter. Briefing media party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman also sought a comprehensive probe by a sitting Supreme Court Judge into the controversy. She said the Society’s occupation certificate must be cancelled. 

Meanwhile former Army chiefs General N C Vij and Deepak Kapoor have offered to surrender their flats from the scam-tainted Adarsh Housing Society. General Vij said he is also giving up the membership of society. "I have written to the Adarsh Society that I am giving up the membership with immediate effect.  I have also informed the Defence Minister of my decision," he told NDTV. 

General Vij also said had purchased a flat in the Society in Mumbai after retirement without knowing that they were meant for war widows. 

Adarsh CHS, which has come up on a 6,490 sq mt plot, has been mired in controversy over llegations that the land was reserved for the welfare of Kargil war widows, but eventually usurped by the cooperative body consisting of former top armed forces officers, bureaucrats and politicians.