Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got an opportunity to target both the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) after former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan made controversial remarks in a newspaper interview.

He said had he taken action against erstwhile chief ministers like Ashok Chavan, the late Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde for their alleged involvement in the Adarsh housing society scam, the Congress party would have got decimated in Maharashtra.

He also expressed helplessness over taking action against his deputy chief minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar for his alleged involvement in a 70,000 irrigation scam, citing the compulsions of coalition politics.

Chavan made the remarks in an interview to Kolkata-based newspaper The Telegraph. Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, BJP general-secretary and the party’s Maharashtra in charge Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, “Chavan’s remark clearly shows he presided over a corrupt government in Maharashtra for four-and-half years, and our charges against both these parties on the issue of corruption stand vindicated."

The Adarsh Housing Society building in Mumbai’s plush Colaba area ran into trouble for alleged irregularities including allowing civilians to own flats in building meant for retired defence personnel and widows of Kargil martyrs.

The economic survey for 2011-12 claimed that despite spending around 70,000 crore between 2000-2010, Maharashtra’s irrigation potential increased only by 0.1%. This observation of the economic survey, later termed as 70,000 crore irrigation scam by the media, non-governmental organizations and opposition parties, came out when Pawar was holding the portfolio of irrigation ministry between 2000 and 2009.

In same interview, Chavan praised state BJP president Devendra Fadanvis for being an outstanding parliamentarian, saying he will be a competent chief minister if the BJP gets a majority in state assembly elections.

Rudy responded, “Maharashtra BJP has a galaxy of leaders and after getting the majority, the party’s legislative wing and parliamentary board will elect the chief minister."

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