The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday alleged that some land sharks have funded Congress campaigns for the recently concluded assembly polls. The allegations came a day after Income Tax raided offices and premises of special land ceiling officer DP Singh (Ridrapur) and Deepak Chauhan (Patwari) in connection with a case of misappropriation of funds.
The officials have come under IT radar after Kumaon commissioner D Senthil Pandiyan, in a report, revealed that money to the tune of ₹118 crores, originally acquired for widening of national highway 74 in US Nagar district, was misapproriated. He claimed that the officers used the money to change agriculture land to commercial plots.
The report says that some real estate stakeholders purchased agriculture land from the farmersa and sold them to government at inflated prices as commercial plots. Pandiyal hinted the role of a former minister, Special land Ceiling Officer DP Singh and few more individuals in the scam.
Interestingly, just before the assembly polls an account for Congress party was opened in Dehradun name and huge sums were transferred from US Nagar district allegedly by some builders. Chief Minister Harish Rawat is contesting the election from the Kichha seat, which falls in US Nagar district. Also, Kamal Rawat, an associate of chief minster Harish Rawat was found to have operated the account on occasions.
The BJP smells rat in the entire episode. BJP sitting MLA from Kichha, Rajesh Shukla, who contested against Rawat said: “I have information that farmers and builders have been asked to pay funds. I demand a high-level enquiry into the matter,” he told HT.
Congress however does not find anything wrong in it.
CM spokesperson, Surendra Kumar said that the account might have been used to take party funds, which is a totally legal.
“Investigations can be conducted into the matter if need be,” he added. Congress president Kishore Upadhyay ducked question about the account while speaking to reporters in Dehradun. He, however, said that “party will close the account since elections are over”.
The issue has cropped when the new government is expected to take the reins of the state in next couple of days.
Kumaon Commissioner Pandiyan said that he has apprised the matter to chief secretary S Ramaswami.