Authorities have sent a notice to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT), asking it to explain the use of over 10,000 sq meter land in Rae Bareli’s Jais for imparting vocational training to women. Officials said that the land was never given to the RGCT and have thus asked for land-use documents.
“During consolidation, certain land is set aside for common public facilities like schools, health, etc. In this case, this land was set aside for a girls’ college. In 1982, through a letter to sub-divisional magistrate by district collector of Rae Bareli, the land was set aside for vocational training institute to provide job-oriented training,” sub-divisional magistrate Ashok Shukla told The Indian Express.
He said that the land should be under control of a government department or institution as per rules. “There are no papers available to show under whose authority it was being used by Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna. If their reply is not satisfactory, then we would send them final notice and start the process of taking the land back,” he added.
BJP’s Amethi spokesman Govind Singh said that they had lodged the complaint about this land a year ago, but the previous Samajwadi Party government did not take cognisance.
Congress president and Rae Bareli MP Sonia Gandhi’s local representative K L Sharma said that their legal advisers are looking into the case. He said that the land was initially given to Thakur Das Trust in 1984.
“The land was lying vacant and thus after the formation of Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, it was decided to use it to provide vocational training to women and girls in collaboration of the existing trust.’’ Sharma called it vendetta. “The government is biased. Why are questions being asked after 35 years?’’
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s representative Chandrakant Dubey Gandhi said that there are 15 lakh women associated with 1.25 lakh self-help groups formed with the help of Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna across UP. “There are no political beneficiaries of it. By taking back the possession of this land, the project will not stop. We will impart training somewhere else. But it should not be done with political vendetta.”
Sonia is RGCT’s chairperson and while Rahul is a trustee. Earlier, BJP’s Amethi district unit had alleged that the family was using Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital’s guesthouse for political purposes, prompting the administration to seek an explanation.