“Gujarat Governor involved in Rajasthan’s land scam”
Jaipur, 14 May, 2012
Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal and host of former Congress Ministers and leaders find themselves in the centre of a `1,000-crore land scam.
Addressing a media conference, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said that scam was much bigger than the Adrash Society scam of Maharashtra, as many Congress leaders got expensive land at a throwaway price and that too on the basis of submitting false affidavits or documents.
He said two senior IAS officers of Cooperative department, PS Mehra, Registrar Cooperative societies and Tapesh Panwar, secretary of the Cooperative department, were transferred for opposing the land allotment to the members of Kisan Samuhik Krishi Sahkari Samiti as it was against the rules. Beniwal and several Congress Ministers were members of this samiti.
Somaiya alleged this kind of scam, in which 209 members of the society, mostly Congress leaders, were beneficiary, could not have taken place without the blessings or consent of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
He alleged on behest of Gehlot, Cooperative Minister Prasadi Lal Meena overruled the orders of the Registrar Cooperative societies. This paved the way for Jaipur Development Authority to allot the expensive commercial and residential Government land to the first batch of 20 members of the Kisan Samuhik Krishi Sahkari Samiti at a throwaway price, causing a loss of about `1,000 crore to the exchequer. Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal was one of the beneficiaries.
Members of the Kisan Samuhik Krishi Sahkari Samiti, which was formed in 1953 to promote the collective farming in the State, in a resolution claimed that they were the actual tillers of the land. They said that during these years they had spent nearly 16 hours a day, during this period, to till the land. As land of the society was acquired by JDA, they should be given compensation in form of commercial and residential land.
In his order in first week of May, Registrar of cooperative society rejected this claim and stated that since Kamla Beniwal, former Deputy Chief Minister of the State, was a Minister for nearly forty years, “How she could spare 16 hours a day to till the land.” He also said none of the member of the society ever tilled the land.
He not only refused to accept the claim or affidavit of these members, including Beniwal, but sent a letter to Jaipur Development Authority advising it not to allot commercial and residential land to them in lieu of land Society surrendered to it.
According to Somaiya, though market price of the land surrendered by the society was only about `800 per square metre, members are being given land priced at around `23,000 per square metre.”
This would mean a loss of nearly `1,000 crore to the State exchequer,” he said and claimed that of the 209 members only 20 members, including Beniwal, were given plots, market value of which was not less than `50 crore each one of the plot.
The society was allotted 384 Bighas of land at Kalwar Road, near the State capital. As per the annual audit report submitted by it to the Registrar, it run into losses during all these years because of lack of cultivation. As Jaipur was expending, about 20 years back, JDA acquired the land, but never got its possession for one or the other reason.
In a meeting of the society on April 4, 2011, which was also attended by Beniwal, a resolution was passed. It said in lieu of surrendering the land, its members should be given at least 25 per cent of land of higher value, so they could be compensated property for their labour, which they had put during all these years.
After going through the resolution, official of the Cooperative department refused to accept their claim. “The officials were transferred on May 10, a week after rejecting the claim of the members of the Samiti,” Somaiya alleged.
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