Sharad Pawar dismisses ex-IPS officer's charges, says rules followed in Lavasa
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar today dismissed charges levelled by former IPS officer-turned-activist YP Singh that he and his family were involved in illegal land acquisitions in Lavasa. Sharad Pawar is at centre of a huge scam: YP Singhmumbai Updated: Oct 18, 2012 21:35 IST
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday dismissed charges levelled by former IPS officer-turned-activist YP Singh that he and his family were involved in illegal land acquisitions in Lavasa.
Former IPS officer-turned-activist YP Singh has accused Pawar of being at the centre of a massive irrigation scam in Maharashtra.
Singh also slammed India Against Corruption (IAC) leader Arvind Kejriwal for his selective exposures against politicians and alleged that he did not reveal all the information pertaining to the scam that they had both worked to expose.
"IAC had all information pertaining to the irrigation scam in Maharashtra but Kejriwal did not reveal all the facts. He has been selective in his revelations," he told the media.
The former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer also accused Kejriwal of taking his favour in the name of anti-corruption movement and using the documents for "personal political advancement".
"In the name of IAC/NGO Kejriwal got legal documentation done by me for central ministers. But he used them for his political career," he said.
Singh's claims came a day after Kejriwal targeted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari, accusing him of receiving personal favours by getting around 100 acres of agriculture land in Maharashtra after the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government there allegedly bent rules to favour him.
Targeting Pawar over the Lavasa Corporation case, he claimed that the agriculture minister was at the centre of the real scam.
An associate of YP Singh also pointed out that Kejriwal's contention that the farmers' land that was acquired should be returned to the farmers was against Supreme Court guidelines.
"According to the apex court, such land cannot be returned to the farmers as it has already been purchased from them. There has to be a public auction of such land," said Abha Singh, who is also a lawyer.
Singh levelled several other charges against Sharad Pawar, his daughter Supriya Sule and his nephew and former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.
He said that Ajit Pawar had given land for Lavasa project at a throwaway price.
"Ajit Pawar granted 341 acres to Lake City Corp on 30 years lease at just Rs.23,000 per month. In Mumbai, the smallest one bedroom house is not available for that price," he said.
He alleged that 20.81% shares of Lake City Corp Lavasa belonged to Supriya Sule and her husband Sadanand.
"Ajit Pawar gave the land to this company virtually free. In 2006, Sule and her husband sold shareholding - but at what cost," Singh questioned, stating that Supriya had made huge gains in the land deal.
Pawar sought to dismiss the charges that he and his family were involved in illegal land acquisitions in Lavasa, India's first planned hill city project in Maharashtra.
The NCP chief claimed that some 300 acres of land were given to the project in his home district of Pune as part of the hill station policy of Maharashtra.
"The state government has the authority to give the land as per the hill station policy. Eighty per cent of the 300 acres land are submerged in water and there has been no construction.
"It has been done as per the policy and there are no two opinions about it," he told reporters.
Pawar admitted that his daughter Supriya Sule and son-in-law Sadanand Sule had shares in the Lavasa corporation but they sold their stake around 2005-06 when there was a controversy.
The Union minister said that he was certainly present at Lavasa when the then chief minister convened a meeting there and he visited the project to see for himself the problems being faced in setting up a Lake City on the lines of the Lake City district in England.
"The chief minister visited the place and he talked to his officers. There is nothing wrong in it. It is not proper to talk much as the matter is before the courts. It is sub-judice. It is not good to talk more than this on a sub-judice matter," he said.