Modi, Hooda spar over Vadra deal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 07, 2014 10:27 IST

The controversial land deal involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s sonin-law Robert Vadra and realty giant DLF is turning out to be a slanging match between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Addressing a rally at Hisar on Monday, Modi asked the Election Commission to take a serious note of the Hooda government’s move to reportedly “clear the VadraDLF land deal”.

The mutation that was ordered to be cancelled by the then director general, consolidation of holdings, Ashok Khemka in October 2012 was never actually cancelled. Since a committee of officers examining the validity of Khemka’s orders had held them as void and beyond his jurisdiction, a status quo remained on the mutation. Government officials said that the assistant consolidation officer had refused to implement Khemka’s orders as they were beyond his jurisdiction.

Modi, however, alleged that it was done hastily as the Congress foresaw its certain defeat in the October 15 elections and later “the son-in-law” (Vadra) would not get any clearances for illegal deals. Alleging that the clearance by the Hooda government was given “under pressure from the top” (Congress leadership), Modi hoped that the election commissioner would take a serious note of the decision.

Rubbishing Modi’s remarks, Hooda said he would quit politics if he was found at fault in the case.

Accusing Modi of indulging in false propaganda, Hooda, who was addressing a rally in Panipat district, said Modi was spreading false propaganda. He challenged the BJP to prove its allegation that land had been allocated to people illegally. “I have not given a single inch of land to any one in a wrong manner. The government can get the facts checked,” he said. Hooda added, “If the allegations against me are proved true, I will quit the post and politics at that very moment,” he said.

Modi spoke on the controversial land deal in the wake of reports that the Hooda government had “legitimised” the land deal by holding the order of Khemka, who had cancelled the mutation of the Rs 58-crore land deal between Vadra and DLF about two years ago, as “illegal and void”.

Gurgaon deputy commissioner Shekhar Vidyarthi had written to the government on July 16, 2014, that the “mutation stands valid”. The letter quoted a report of assistant consolidation officer which termed Khemka’s cancellation orders as `` illegal’’, `` void’’ and `` out of jurisdiction’’.

However, while chief secretary Shakuntala Jakhu, who held the charge of financial commissioner, revenue, feigned ignorance about the issue saying that she was not aware of any such communication.

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