The Congress on Monday demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the matter of alleged irregularity in the purchase of land at Ayodhya by the Ram temple trust. Addressing a virtual press conference, Congress general secretary and party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Monday called the alleged irregularity in the purchase of land a "big scam" and said because "the trust was established on the direction of the Supreme Court, the court should take cognisance of the issue and investigate the matter."
"The amount received as donations and expenses made by the trust should also be audited under the supervision of the Supreme Court," he added.
However, he added that Congress does not want construction work of the proposed Ram temple to be halted.
Controversy erupted after Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Tej Narayan Pandey on Sunday accused Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust of committing corruption in a land deal and sought a CBI probe into the matter.
Holding a press conference on Sunday, Pandey said, "The piece of land was earlier purchased for Rs 2 crores by Ravi Mohan Tiwari and Sultan Ansari. 10 minutes later, the Trust bought the land for Rs 18.5 crores on March 18."
The SP leader also claimed that Rs 17 crore was sent to the bank account of Ravi Mohan Tiwari and Sultan Ansari through RTGS mode of payment and demanded a probe into the RTGS money transfer.
Following SP, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh, also made similar allegations. Refuting the allegations of fraud in purchasing land worth at an inflated price for the Ram temple premises, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust general secretary Champat Rai termed the charges as "misleading and motivated by political hatred".
In February 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the constitution of 'Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Trust' which would oversee the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, nearly three months after the Supreme Court ruling in the decades-old case.
In November 2019, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court had ruled unanimously in favour of Ram Lalla. It said the entire disputed land spread over 2.7-acre will be handed over to a trust formed by the government, which will monitor the construction of the Ram temple at the site. The court had asked the government to give 5 acres of land to Sunni Waqf Board in Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque.
(With ANI Inputs)