Cong Wants SIT Probe On Gir Sanctuary Land Deal

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New Delhi: The Congress has demanded an independent probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the reported land allotment to a company run by business associates of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s daughter, Anar Jayesh Patel.

A report in Economic Times today claimed that the company was allotted 250 acres of land near the Gir lion sanctuary at an official rate of Rs 15 per square metre. The company owns a total of 400 acres of prime land.

Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded immediate resignation of Gujarat CM from her post accused the PM Modi of turning a blind eye towards this shady land deal.

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“Under PM Modi’s watch when he was Gujarat CM, nepotism flourished and public land was plundered to promote commercial and business. For fair probe, it is necessary that then revenue minister and current Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel resign from her post “250 acres of land near Gir lion sanctuary was given for Rs 60000/acre whereas then notified value of land was Rs 50 lakh/acre,” Sharma claimed.

According to the Economic Times report, filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) show a number of transactions, which started when the Gujarat government allotted 250 acres of public land in 2010-11 to Wildwoods Resorts and Realties, between Anandiben’s daughter Anar Jayesh Patel and the promoters of Wildwoods. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state at the time.

Anandiben was Gujarat’s revenue minister at the time of the allocation of land. The revenue department is the nodal authority for such land allotments. She retained the revenue portfolio when she became the chief minister of the state.

Earlier this week, The Hindu reported that the involvement of Anandiben’s children Anar and son Shwetank in governance matters has even forced PM Modi to ask the CM to “rectify her image.”

“Not only in Gujarat, even in Delhi it has become a point of discussion regarding her children’s involvement in the governance process,” the newspaper quoted a source close to Anandiben and the PM, as saying.

“The way, the perception has been built and spread, it’s a matter of great concern and Prime Minister and others have conveyed to her to rectify and improve the image,” the source added.