Minister denies hand in land reservation for wife

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Bhopal, Jun 18: Madhya Pradesh Industry and Housing Minister Jayant Malaiya today clarified that he was not involved in reservation of land in a prime location in the state capital for a magazine published by his wife.

''I have never sought in writing or orally reservation of land to my wife Sudha Malaiya'', the Housing Minister told a news conference here.

The minister's clarification comes in the wake of the Lokayukta taking cognizance of a complaint lodged by Congress leader Choudhary Rakesh Singh about allotment of 10,000 square feet land in Arera Hills area to Ms Malaiya.

Claiming that 'Ojaswini' magazine was being published for the last 12 years, Mr Malaiya said his wife had been seeking allotment of government land for the publication for a long time and reservation of about 5,000 sq ft land made in 1998 had been cancelled during 1999-2000.

Ms Sudha Malaiya again applied for land in 2000 and about 10,000 sq ft land was reserved for it when Mr Rajendra Kumar Shukla was the minister concerned, Mr Malaiya said, adding few lakh rupees were deposited as part of the process for land allocation by the Revenue department.

He claimed that government land in the state capital was reserved for few other newspapers, including Pioneer, Shikhar Varta and Hindustan Times.

Mr Malaiya also denied having any information about a senior officer of the Pollution Control Board having been fined Rs 25,000 for not providing information in time under the Right to Information Act.

UNI

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