Congress questions PM's silence on Gujarat land deal issue
New Delhi: The Congress Party on Saturday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on the Gujarat land alloacations involving Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and her daughter Anar jayesh Patel
Interacting with the media here, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said Anandiben Patel, during her tenure as the Revenue Minister in the Gujarat government headed by Narendra Modi, had allotted land near the Gir Lion Sanctuary at a throwaway price to business associates of her daughter.
"Around 250 acres of forest land in an eco-sensitive zone was by the Gujarat Government, and even at that time the valuation was Rs. 60, 000 per acre and it was given for Rs. 15 per meter square. So, land worth Rs. 125 crores was given for Rs. 1.5 crores," Sharma told reporters here.
He said that there was a 'deliberate' and 'conscious' promotion of vested interests at the cost of state exchequer.
"Prime Minister must come clean in this matter. There cannot be a different set of rules for Prime Minister of India or for the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The PM has spoken about his commitment to zero tolerance when it comes to corruption, nepotism and also form on fixing accountability. Prime Minister, we ask you, offer yourself to a fair probe so that accountability can be fixed," he added.
Sharma also demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the matter.
Anandiben was Gujarat's revenue minister at the time of the allocation of land. The revenue department is the nodal authority for such land allotments. She retained the revenue portfolio when she became the chief minister of the state.
Reports suggest a company run by business associates of Anandiben's daughter reportedly owns 400 acres, of which 250 acre was allotted to the company purportedly at an official rate of Rs 15 per square metre.