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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Chautala targets Rahul Gandhi over land purchase

Rajeev Bhaskar, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, October 17, 2012
First Published: 18:47 IST(17/10/2012) | Last Updated: 10:08 IST(18/10/2012)

Close on the heels of controversy over questionable purchase of land by Robert Vadra, former chief minister of Haryana, Om Parkash Chatuala on Wednesday accused Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi joining Vadra in purchasing the land at much below market value and evading stamp duty on purchase of land in Hassanpur village of Faridabad.

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"Rahul Gandhi purchased 51 kanal 13 marla of agriculture land in Hassanpur village of Faridabad district at much below the prevailing market rate and got it registered on March 3, 2008 and stamp duty at the rate of Rs. 1.5 lakh per acre as compared to the actual collector rate of Rs. 8 lakh," Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Chautala told reporters adding that it was a clear case of evading stamp duty by Rahul Gandhi.

Chautala alleged that Vadra purchased about nine acres of land in the same village, registry of which was done on the same date at a much lower market rate. Chautala said that there was a strong connection between both the land deals, as seller, HL Pahwa, and the witness, Mahesh Kumar Nagar, were same in both the cases.

Chautala claimed that the market rate of the land purchased by Vadra and Gandhi was between Rs. 30 to 35 lakh per acre during the period when the deal was finalized.

Expressing distrust in the Haryana government, which ordered enquiry into the decision of former IG registration Ashok Khemka, Chautala demanded an impartial probe by any retired Justice of Supreme Court to probe the 'dubious" land leaders of both Vadra and Gandhi.

"The scam in the land deals unearthed by Arvind Kejriwal was mere tip of the iceberg and there should an impartial probe in the land deals of Vadra in Gurgoan, Manesar, Faridabad, Mewat and Palwal and favoured by the Haryana government in the deals," he demanded.

Land was also purchased from Dalits, allotted to them by the state government in 1981 during Land Consolidation. As per Supreme Court's ruling, such land can not be transferred to anyone else he alleged.

Chatuala alleged that Vadra's company Messers Real Earth Estate also purchased six different chunks of land in Ferozepur Jhirka village of Mewat District in 2009 at very low market rate.

The purchase was made from the family members of local Congress leader Aftab Ahmed, who was later given party ticket and his ancestral land was also brought under the Master Plan to extend him benefit of crores of rupees, Chautala said.

He said that in the name of Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the state government acquired land from farmers for as many as 96 SEZs and allotted it with tax concessions to big industrial houses, especially Mukesh Ambani headed Reliance Industries Limited.

"Not even a single SEZ was operational, but land was never given back to farmers, which is mandatory as per the Land Acquisition policy", he added.

As far as whistleblower IAS officer Ashok Khemka is concerned, Chautala said that once INLD was voted to power, he would honour such bureaucrats and farmers would be given back their acquired land.


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