Nobody pressurised for land allocation to Gandhi charitable trust: Manish Tiwari

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 05, 2011 06:30 hrs

Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari has said nobody was pressurised to lease land to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) in Gurgaon.

Addressing a news conference here, Tiwari said the amount proposed by the village council for acquiring the land was minimal, so the trust agreed to pay an appropriate amount for the land.

"There is absolutely no question of any pressure being put on any individual much less the panchayat (village council) of a village. The panchayat took a decision that the land should be leased to the trust for a charitable purpose. In fact what the panchayat had proposed was a very minimal or a nominal or a notional rent which was rejected by the trust and an appropriate rent was agreed to," said Tiwari.

Conflicting over the land acquisition issue have emerged recently.

While one set of villagers and village heads have said that the land was handed over to the trust willingly many years ago, several others farmers residing in villages near Gurgaon have filled a petition in the High Court at Chandigarh, stating that their lands were forcibly acquired for a meagre sum of money by the state government to favour the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.

A statement signed Azad Singh, sarpanch of the Ullahwas panchayat and former sarpanch Surendra Prakash says that in an earlier lease deal they were getting Rs 600 per acre per year and that now they were getting Rs three lakh per acre per year.

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

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