With the Congress minister busy clarifying their position on the chargesheet brought out by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against one year rule of Virbhadra Singh-led the Congress government, social justice minister Dhani Ram Shandil on Tuesday threatened the BJP leaders to take legal course against them over the allegations levelled against him.
Clarifying on the charges, Shandil told mediapersons here that his family was allotted five bighas of 'nautod' land in 1972, of which nearly 2.1 bighas were pastureland near Jubbar Hatti airport.
“As the land was near a cremation ground, I had applied to exchange it with some other land in 2006,” said Shandil, adding it took nearly 7 years to get the file cleared and the land was exchanged only in 2013.
Elaborating further, he said that he had been given land in the same khasra number, but away from the cremation ground. He said the land was exchanged under 'compelling' circumstances - as it was close to the cremation ground.
“The land was allotted to me in three different locations in the same khasra in exchange of the land owned by me near the cremation ground,” said Shandil, adding he had even offered to pay the enhanced value, if there was any, of the exchanged land.
Replying to a question about the Supreme Court ban on the exchange of land, he said the apex court had put a ban on the exchange of land, but the 27th para of the Himachal Pradesh Nautorh Rule 1968 empowered deputy commissioner to allow exchange of allotted nautorh land under 'compulsive condition'.
He also conceded that he was present in the cabinet meeting when the land was exchanged.
Without spilling anger over the opposition BJP, he said if there was some illegality, the BJP should come forward with facts.
I will obey high command:
Replying to a question on contesting the Lok Sabha elections, Shandil, who was a Member of Parliament from Shimla in 2004, said he was serving the people of the state as a minister, and being an ex-army man he had learnt never to disobey the orders.