Mumbai’s top politician has offered to resign over a housing scandal in which top military chiefs and associates of Congress Party leaders were allegedly allocated exclusive flats in an apartment block built for war heroes and widows.
Two of the Congress-led Indian government’s most senior ministers, Pranab Mukherjee, the finance minister and AK Anthony, the defence minister, are heading an investigation to establish the role of Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra’s chief minister, in the affair.
The allegations centre on ownership of flats in a 31 storey block built by the Adarsh Housing Co-operative on Cuffe Parade, overlooking the Arabian Sea, in one of Mumbai’s most expensive neighbourhoods.
It was built on land believed to be illegally-occupied by India’s security forces, but construction was permitted on the grounds that war widows and heroes of the Kargil War would be the beneficiaries.
Last week two former army chiefs and one retired navy chief announced they had acquired flats in the development but denied they had known they were intended for war widows. They have subsequently said they would give up their apartments.