A turf war has broken out again between the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) leader Jayant Patil and water resources minister from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Sunil Tatkare, political rivals from Raigad.
Patil on Thursday alleged that Tatkare’s family and associates had acquired huge tracts of unaccounted for land in Raigad, to the tune of 519 acre, a charge which has been denied by Tatkare. Under the Land Ceiling Act, a family cannot purchase more than 54 acre of land.
In a media conference, Patil handed out documents allegedly showing land records and balance sheets of companies owned by Tatkare’s family. He claimed that Tatkare’s son and associates had set up several companies to amass such land under guises of various agro-businesses. He called for a probe into the income sources of the Tatkare family to find out how they had amassed so much wealth in such a short time.
"After Tatkare took charge of water resources department, the balance sheets of the companies have increased. Even land purchase increased,” Patil said.
A company is allowed to purchase more than 54 acre of land for legitimate businesses like horticulture and dairy industries. “These allegations are baseless and politically motivated. I am checking with my lawyers and plan to file a defamation suit against Patil,” Tatkare said.
He also added that his son, Aniket, had independent business interests and had set up a few companies to pursue them.
The political rivalry between Patil and Tatkare dates back to more than a decade and stems from an ambition to establish control over Raigad. Earlier, Patil’s PWP had aligned with the NCP in Raigad, but the alliance was broken after Tatkare emerged strong in Konkan. Since then, the PWP has allied with the saffron combine.