Land acquisition row: Anurag Thakur demands clarification from Haryana Govt.

Last Updated: Thu, Aug 04, 2011 15:30 hrs

Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) President Anurag Thakur on Thursday demanded a clarification from the Haryana Government over irregularities in land allocation to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT).

"Now, we have to see that the ministers who had gone to Bhatta Parsaul for gaining political importance by saying big things, will they ask their own chief minister to resign for allotting land to Rajiv Gandhi education trust? Will they ask for resignation over the atrocities done towards the farmers in Haryana?" said Thakur, while addressing a party rally here.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi earlier said that the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT), which is run by party president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, has not forcibly acquired village land in Haryana as has been reported.

"No land has been acquired for the trust. Therefore there can be no question of "no land being deacquired or exempted" for the trust. The trust is not a landowner at all. The trust has taken steps under established rules to lease lands which hundreds of charitable trusts are doing," said Singhvi.

He also said the trust was involved in various charitable activities like running hospitals and schools for the poorer sections of the society and it as not run as some profit making business.

Singhvi also stated that the land acquired for the trust had been taken on lease and not bought as had been reported by sections of the media.

"This trust applied not to purchase land, not to own land, not to register a sale deed. It merely applied for a lease. It got lease, but under established rules. The Gram Panchayat (village council) could offer a lease at concessional rates. In writing the Gram Panchayat offered at concessional rates because a lease was being given of Gram Panchayat land. Not some farmer"s land," he said.

Singhvi also said that the village council had agreed to lease out the land on a concessional rate of Rs. 1000 per acre, but the trust had insisted on taking the land at the ongoing available market rates.

Various farmers residing in the villages near Gurgaon on Tuesday applied for a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh, stating that their lands had been forcibly acquired for a meagre amount of money by the state government to favour the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust floated by the Gandhi family.

Various media reports revealed Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Vadra were its trustees. (ANI)

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