Deshmukh rejects Opposition demand to step down

Pune: Union Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Saturday rejected BJP`s demand for his resignation in the wake of the adverse remarks by the Supreme Court in connection with land allotment to filmmaker Subhash Ghai`s "Whistling Woods" in Mumbai.

"That is the job of the opposition which it is doing", he quipped when asked to comment by reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

When his attention was drawn to the reported comments by Ghai that he was " cheated" by the state government on the issue, Deshmukh replied "It is his version".
He maintained that all decisions were taken in keeping with the land disposal policy of the state government.

The Supreme Court recently dismissed the appeal filed by Subhash Ghai-owned Mukta Arts against a Bombay High Court judgment cancelling the Vilasrao Deshmukh government`s decision to allot land at Film City to the filmmaker`s company.

The Bombay High Court in its order on February 9 had called Deshmukh`s role in the transaction as "deprecable" . Meanwhile, on the leaked Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in which his name figures along with other Maharashtra ministers in respect of alleged irregularities in land allotments in the state, Deshmukh said he would make comment only after the report is tabled in the House on April 16.

"It was not for the first time that a CAG report is submitted…. As per the procedure it would go to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for corrective measures if necessary," he added.