‘Land allotment fight to continue’
The organisation on whose petition the Supreme Court quashed the Madhya Pradesh government’s land allotment to the Kushabhau Thakre Trust will not rest at this. It will now take its struggle into the state government’s camp.bhopal Updated: Apr 08, 2011 01:52 IST
The organisation on whose petition the Supreme Court quashed the Madhya Pradesh government’s land allotment to the Kushabhau Thakre Trust will not rest at this. It will now take its struggle into the state government’s camp.
“The grounds on which the apex court quashed the land (allotment) to the Kushabhau Thakre Trust hold true in many other cases of land allotment and I will petition the court for their cancellation too,” said the petitioner in this case, BS Sharma, president of the Akhil Bhartiya Upbhokta Congress.
A two-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly on Wednesday called the allotment “an act of favouritism in gross violation of the Constitution”.
That Sharma’s contention carries conviction is borne out by the fact that soon after he had filed the public interest petition in this case, the Madhya Pradesh government withdrew its land allotment to an organisation owned by the wife of housing and environment minister Jayant Malaiya.
In Sharma’s original petition, the allotment of 10,000 square feet (slightly less than one-fourth of an acre) to Ojaswani, the organisation owned by Sudha Malaiya in Bhopal’s prime location, was mentioned.
In the past eight years, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has allotted land to the ruling party for opening offices in 25 districts. Sources in the revenue department said the government had allotted about 350 acres to various organisations associated either with the party or the RSS in violation of land revenue laws, causing a loss of R600 crore to the state exchequer.
Revenue department sources said in a majority of land allotments to the BJP, the price charged was 10-25% of the prevailing market rate.
And, a large number of land allotments for BJP offices had been made by the government in 2008, the year the assembly elections took place in December.
“The land allotments in our time are fewer than those in the Congress regime,” said government spokesman and parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra.
“We are studying the judgment, so I cannot comment at this moment,” Mishra told HT.
Bhopal Lok Sabha member and Kushabhau Thakre Trust Secretary Kailash Joshi took the same position.