THE Congress on Wednesday raked up the land deal in Gujarat, allegedly involving Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s daughter, to target the BJP in what is seen as an attempt to counter the ruling party’s attack on the Ishrat Jahan issue and P Chidambaram’s son. The Congress asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain why huge tracts of land were allotted to “business partners of Patel’s daughter Anar at a pittance”.
“Why was 250 acres of government land allotted at Rs 15 per sq m to Wildwoods Resorts & Realties Private Limited when the Collector rate itself was Rs 180 per sq m? Why was the declared mode of public auction or invitation of bids not followed? Why were objections of officers of revenue department ignored,” said Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala.
He said facts in the public domain reveal that Modi, as Gujarat Chief Minister, had “sanctioned nepotism, conflict of interest and blatant plundering of public land to promote commercial and business interests of entities closely connected to Anar Patel”.
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He said in December 2008, the district land valuation committee of Amreli considered two proposals for land allotment — for Wildwood Resorts & Realties and for Murlidhar Gau Seva Charitable Trust.
“WWR required land for a resort next to Gir Lion Sanctuary. Gau Seva Trust required land for a gaushala. WWR was recommended land allotment at Rs 15 per sq m but land for the gaushala was recommended at Rs 671 per sq m,” he claimed.
“Why was land allocated to WWR when it fell within the prohibited zone of 2 kms of Gir Lion Sanctuary… Was Modi aware of conflict of interest of then Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel while allocating the said land,” he said, demanding a probe by an SIT monitored by Supreme Court.