New Delhi, Aug 3: Strengthened by B S Yeddyurappa's resignation as Karnataka Chief Minister following graft charges, BJP today demanded the head of Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda for “illegal” denotification and lease of land in Gurgaon to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.
BJP chief Nitin Gadkari charged Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son and party general secretary Rahul and daughter Priyanka Vadhra of taking more than five acres of panchayat land in Haryana's Ullahawas village on lease for a rent of Rs 3 lakh per annum.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadhra are trustees of the charitable body.
“All laws were set aside by the Hooda government to give this land worth Rs 50 crore on lease to the Gandhi family. The land was denotified before it was leased to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and daughter Priyanka. Why this double standards of the Gandhi family?” Gadkari alleged.
The land, which belonged to the panchayat and hence was a collective property of the village, was reportedly alloted to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and one H R Sachdeva, a dentist alleged to be close to the Gandhi family.
A case is pending in the court on the matter.“If Yeddyurappa had to resign due to denotification of a land, the Hooda government should also resign for denotifying this property,” Gadkari said. He insisted that his party will appeal to the Haryana High Court that all aspects of this deal should be investigated by a Special Investigation Team. He also demanded that a retired judge conduct a probe into all land acquired by the Hooda government during its tenure.
“We also demand that the land scams in Uttar Pradesh should be inquired into. Rahul Gandhi did a ‘padyatra' (march) there,” Gadkari said, alluding to the Congress leader having different sets of norms for UP and Haryana. Rahul Gandhi had visited Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater Noida to meet the farmers whose land had been acquired by the Mayawati government without paying adequate compensation.
Gadkari maintained that during the court proceedings when the judge wanted to know names of the trustees of Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, the lawyers were reluctant to name Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka.
“When we want land for the Deen Dayal Trust there is a hue and cry but not for this Trust. Why this drama about land acquisitions? On the one hand, they are fighting for land rights and on the other they are taking away this land. The matter should be investigated,” Gadkari said.
Asked if BJP would raise this issue in Parliament, Gadkari said he has raised his voice on this matter and his party would bring it up in the House.
Meanwhile, noted painter Anjolie Ela Menon today distanced herself from the ongoing controversy regarding a land deal for an eye hospital to be set-up by Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust in Ullawas, Haryana, saying her concerns were limited to environmental issues in Aravalli area.
The celebrated painter said she was shocked to see news reports that she was supposedly responsible for “leading” a farmers' agitation in Haryana and that the Trust's eye hospital was by implication being targeted by her.
“More than 65 petitioners have been clubbed together in the Haryana High Court protesting against the acquisition of our farmland. I am only one of them. I had never heard of this eye hospital and didn't even know where it was,” Menon said in a statement issued today.
“It is also a patent untruth, that I have been leading a farmers' agitation. I don't even know any of the other petitioners or farmers. My petition is primarily on the ground that the development for which acquisition is being conducted is being done without any consideration of the environment, namely the Aravalli forests and a seasonal jheel (lake), in Ghatta village,” she said. PTI