Congress targeted PM Narendra Modi Friday over reports of land dealings in Gujarat involving CM Anandiben Patel’s daughter Anar Patel. The party demanded that the land deals be probed by an SIT under Supreme Court’s supervision and sought Patel’s resignation to ensure a fair probe. The party said it would raise the issue in Parliament.
A report in The Economic Times Friday said business associates of Anar Patel, Dakshesh Shah and Amol Shripal Sheth own Wildwoods Resorts and Realties, which was allotted 400 acre near Gir Sanctuary. Of this, 250 acre was given away at an official rate of Rs 15 per sq m. “Filings with the Registrar of Companies, accessed by ET, show a number of transactions between her (Anar) and her business partners that started when the Gujarat government allotted 250 acres of public land to Wildwoods Resorts and Realties,” says the report.
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Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “Shocking revelations in public domain make it clear that PM Narendra Modi, as Gujarat CM, allowed nepotism, conflict of interest and brazen plundering of public land to promote commercial interests of entities closely connected to the kin of then Revenue Minister and present Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel…The PM must come clean. He and his colleagues said, ‘Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion’. Here the King himself is there, he was Gujarat CM,” he said.
He said allotment of 250 acre of government land next to Gir lion sanctuary “without any valuation or price determination for a pittance” was made when Modi was CM. He said the land was given to Wildwoods Resorts & Realties Private Limited at Rs 15 per sq m. “That means Rs 60,000 per acre. The estimated market price of this land was to the tune of Rs 50 lakh per acre i.e. a total of Rs 125 crore for 250 acres,” he said.
He claimed one of the original promoters of the company and its present owners are Anar’s business partners. The firm changed hands in 2011-12. It was acquired by Parshwa Texchem (India) Private Limited, owned by Shah and Amol Shripal Sheth’s Anil Infraplus Limited.
“Currently, the ownership pattern of Wildwoods is Parshwa Texchem (50%), Anil Infraplus (49.9%), Dakshesh R Shah (0.04%) and Anil Hospitality Ventures Limited (0.04%). Shah and Texchem are business partners of Anar Patel,” he said.
Sharma said Wildwoods also brought an adjoining 172 acre of agricultural land. “Non-farmers are not permitted to purchase agricultural land, but the firm was granted permission… In 2011, the state government permitted conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural use,” he said.
State BJP chief IK Jadeja termed the allegations “baseless” and accused the Congress of trying to malign the CM by “falsely implicating” her daughter. Jadeja said the firm had been given the land for “the non-agricultural purpose in keeping wth the rules and procedures”. He said no BJP leader was involved with the deal.
Meanwhile, Anar took to Facebook to react. “I believe that to do ethical business with social morality is everyone’s right. So far what ever I did, I did it in righteous manner… I get hurt when people have assumptions…Truth always prevails,” she said.