Khaira seeks probe into CM’s land deal, govt dismisses charges as propaganda
In a complaint to chief secretary, Khaira alleged there was serious conflict of interest and breach of oath of office and secrecy by Amarinder who purchased six acres of land at Palanpur/Siswan to build a house.
Leader of opposition in Punjab assembly Sukhpal Khaira on Tuesday demanded an inquiry into land purchase by politicians, bureaucrats and other powerful people, including chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, around Chandigarh.
In a complaint to chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Khaira alleged there was serious conflict of interest and breach of oath of office and secrecy by Amarinder who has purchased six acres of land at Palanpur/Siswan of Mohali district by Capt Amarinder Singh on January 3 to build a house.
“The area is covered under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA). The state government is likely to let the PLPA notification pertaining to villages surrounding Chandigarh lapse next month and it would mean a windfall for land sharks,” he said, releasing the complaint at a press conference. He made the allegation following a newspaper report on the land purchased by the chief minister.
Khaira alleged that Amarinder was well aware of the fact that the PLPA notification would lapse on February 3, allowing any piece of land for residential or commercial use which would increase its price by at least 10 times.
However, the Punjab government dismissed his allegations, calling them totally baseless, fabricated and malicious. Raveen Thukral, media adviser to the chief minister, said the land purchased by Amarinder was not in Palanpura, as was being projected, but in Siswan, which had been denotified by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government under PLPA way back in 2011.
The media adviser said the plot stopped being covered under PLPA since it was denotified on Aug 24, 2011, by then financial commissioner and secretary to Govt. of Punjab, department of forests and wildlife preservation. “The charge of conflict of interest and breach of oath of office and secrecy, made by the AAP leader, smack of cheap and dirty politicking,” he said.
He said the CM would also be taking all the necessary permissions, as required under the law, for building the proposed cottage on the purchased land as and when the time for construction comes.