A LOCAL businessman has laid claim to Uttar Pradesh Congress’ office building in Mall Avenue area of Lucknow. While Congress has described it as a publicity stunt, businessman Manish Agarwal has claimed that according to a 1961 sale deed, the around 80,000-square feet property was registered in the name of his forefathers, who had migrated to India from Pakistan during Partition.
Agarwal has now moved the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) demanding an explanation over the issue.
“We have a number of old documents in our house. Two to three months ago, while cleaning, I got hold of this sale deed dating back to 1961. It mentioned that the 80,000 sq feet of property was in the name of my forefathers,” Agarwal told The Indian Express. He added that when he approached the LMC, the same was also found in the civic body’s records. Agarwal has submitted a copy of the original revenue map with his application to the LMC.
Agarwal has claimed that in 1961, his grandfather Ram Swaroop Agarwal was handed over the building through an auction by the “Ministry of Rehabilitation, Government of India” as compensation for the properties they owned in Lahore before Partition. He added that in 1986, while his forefathers Ram Swaroop Agarwal and Purushotam Das Agarwal were the owners and official caretakers of the property, the names of then Congress state president Mohsina Kidwai and Jawahar Lal Nehru Trust were included in the civic body records.
“Till 1976, the property was assessed in the name of my forefathers. Suddenly, in the 1986 records, Mohsina Kidwai and Jawahar Lal Nehru Trust were mentioned. The municipal corporation failed to inform me how it happened… thus, we decided to submit a proper application demanding an explanation,” said Agarwal.
On Wednesday, Agarwal had moved an application saying that the building, Nehru Bhawan, belongs to his family, LMC Zonal Officer Ashok Singh told PTI. The complainant has claimed that in 1986, names of Kidwai’s and Jawahar Lal Nehru Trust were “wrongly” entered in the civic records, the officer said quoting the application.
Later, while Agarwal’s name was dropped, even today, only Mohsina Kidwai’s name is mentioned as “occupant” in the records, Agarwal has stated in his complaint.
When contacted, Congress Legislature Party Leader Ajay Kumar Lallu said: “It is a baseless claim. We had bought the property in an auction. It is a move to gain publicity. These people have no claim over the property and we hope that no heed is given to such claims.”