Former IPS officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh, who has previously collaborated with India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal on public campaigns, took on his activist colleague on Thursday for keeping mum on Lavasa land scam and the involvement of Pawars, despite having been on the panel of the people’s inquiry commission, which looked into complaints concerning the hill city in 2009.
Even as Singh levelled allegations against Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and his family, he said he was disappointed with social activist Anna Hazare for not having taken up the issue. Why did Anna go soft on Sharad Pawar? He did not take up the Lavasa issue even though he was fully in the know of all the irregularities. Even former Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh had written to him, but he chose to not mention Lavasa during any of his agitations at Jantar Mantar,” Singh said.
Singh’s press conference came on the heels of India Against Corruption’s allegations against BJP national president Nitin Gadkari. The lawyer said Gadkari’s was a petty scam in comparison to Lavasa and asked the media to interpret Kejriwal’s silence.
Singh believes that Kejriwal made a wrong move when he set up a political party. Since the IAC is now a national political party, it was keen to expose corruption cases involving both the Congress and the BJP, whereas it did not bother with the NCP as the party does not matter much in Delhi.
“I met Kejriwal and discussed this [Lavasa] issue on May 18. It was decided that there would be a special inquiry and IAC would take the matter forward. I assumed when I heard of the big IAC expose that it would be Lavasa, but it turned out to be a minor case,” Singh said.
The activist also said Kejriwal made a “false point” that the land should have been returned to the farmers as the apex court order in 1997 had ruled that once land is acquired, it cannot go back to the original owners.