Congress demands resignation of Chandigarh administrator

December 25th, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Dec 25 (IANS) The Congress party and the mayor of the city Thursday demanded that S.F. Rodrigues, the administrator of the union territory of Chandigarh immediately step down and a central agency probe be initiated to look into all the major deals carried out during his tenure. The Congress leaders Thursday demanded a probe by a central agency into all the multi-million mega projects initiated by the administrator.

Rodrigues, who is also the governor of Punjab has been accused by the Congress of various murky deals worth billions of rupees.

“Rodrigues’s own advisor smells something foul in his dealing. In the history of Chandigarh, it has happened for the first time that such serious allegations have been raised against the administrator by his own advisor,” said Subhash Chawla, vice-president Congress, Chandigarh and former mayor of the city, while addressing a press conference here Thursday evening. The current mayor of Chandigarh Pardeep Chabhra was also present at the meeting.

“We demand that Rodrigues should take the responsibility of all the anomalies and himself recommend a central agency’s inquiry into the matter. To safeguard the honour of the chair of an administrator, he should immediately leave the position and proceed on leave until the inquiry is complete,” Chawla said.

“An administrator is not a constitutional power and is open for any such inquiry,” pointed out Chawla.

Rodrigues who does not share good relations with senior Congress leader Pawan Bansal, the union minister of state for finance, was appointed by the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Rodrigues’s relations with senior bureaucrat, Pradip Mehra, who is advisor to the administrator here is also strained.

“Earlier there was a meeting of the advisory council, which has the representation of all political parties, at regular intervals. However, for the last two years there has been no meetings of the advisory council and all the decisions are being taken in closed rooms,” Chawla said.

He added: “The administrator has sold land worth of billions of rupees at throwaway prices to his own people ignoring genuine parties.

“If any bureaucrat tries to raise his voice against him, then Rodrigues withdraws the powers of that officer to write the annual confidential reports (ACRs) and initiates an inquiry against that officer on some pretext, as happened in the case of advisor Pradip Mehra,” Chawla said.

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