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Maharashtra tourism minister threatens to sue NCP leader over Dhule land scam allegations

The blame-game between the opposition and government sparked off after a farmer who committed suicide, died at JJ Hospital on Sunday night.

mumbai Updated: Jan 30, 2018 16:31 IST
Surendra Gangan
Surendra Gangan
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,maharastra farmers,jaykumar rawal
Dhule’s guardian minister Jaykumar Rawal (left) and water resources minister Girish Mahajan meet Narendra Patil (centre), son of deceased farmer Dharma Patil, on Monday outside JJ hospital in Mumbai.((Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo))

State tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal, also the guardian minister of Dhule, on Tuesday threatened to sue Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik, who has accused him of illegal land acquisition following the death of 84-year-old farmer Dharma Patil.

Malik has alleged involvement of Rawal in purchasing land from farmers at a cheaper rate to skim profits by selling it to the government for the power projects at higher compensation rate.

The blame-game between the opposition and government sparked off on Monday, after Patil, who attempted suicide at Mantralaya a week ago, died at JJ Hospital on Sunday night. He attempted suicide in protest of the government’s failure to give due price to his land acquired for a power project in Dhule.

Rawal said that after the funeral of Patil, he would move the local court in Dondaicha in Dhule, against Malik.

“He has levelled false allegations against me and my family. My grandfather gave tracks of land to the government for various development projects in the past. We owned 5000 acres of land at the time of independence to the country. How can Malik say that we cheated farmers for land, when the district knows my family for our contribution towards their welfare?” he said.

Malik had alleged on Monday, that Rawal purchased 1.76 hectare land for Rs2.83 lakh in April 2012, even after the notification for the land acquisition for the thermal project in Dhule was issued.

Malik also alleged that although the Land Acquisition Act restricts one’s land holding limit to 50 to 52 acres, Rawal and his family hold 800 acres in Dondaicha in Dhule. He said on Tuesday, that he was ready to face the suit.

“The minister is hiding crucial facts in the land purchase deals. I will expose him in the court,” Malik said.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena, the ruling partner of the Bhartiya Janata Party-led government, too, has slammed chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his government.

In the strong worded editorial in Saamana, the party mouthpiece edited by its chief Uddhav Thackeray, the party has held BJP and its ‘speech mafias’ responsible for the death of the Dharma Patil. Calling it a murder, the editorial says that the rhetoric by the party leaders cannot earn people their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.

“This could not be called good governance dreamt of by Shivaji Maharaj. Bhashan Mafias (speech mafias) have killed the farmer. Chief minister, please do run the government and not the BJP…The funeral pyre of the farmer will burn your power chairs,” the editorial said.

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 16:31 IST