Cong seeks to turn tables on BJP over corruption issue

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) With BJP seeking to makecorruption a big issue, Congress today sought to turn thetables on it by raking up the issue of Madhya Pradeshgovernment allotting 20 acres of prime land at a nominal rentto a trust set up in memory of late BJP president KushabhauThakre.

"BJP has become Bharatiya Juggler Party instead ofBharatiya Janta Party. Giving a land worth Rs 60 crore forjust Rs 1 as annual rent. I want to ask BJP is this illegal orimmoral," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said alluding to anearlier remark by BJP President Nitin Gadkari over the landallotment controversies in B S Yeddyurappa-ruled Karnataka.

"Congress demands Madhya Pradesh Chief MinisterShivraj Singh Chouhan must explain to the nation. Lal KrishnaAdvani, Venakaiah Naidu and BJP must explain their associationwith the trust," Tewari said.

Reports said that BJP government in MP allotted 20acres of prime land in Bhopal worth Rs 60 crore to a trust setup in the memory of late party president Kushabhau Thakre bytwisting rules.

Reports also had it that the trustees in this bodyinclude BJP leaders L K Advani and Venkaiah Naidu while itssecretary is sitting BJP MP and former chief minister KailashJoshi.

Tewari said the 20 acres of land was leased to thetrust for 33 years in 2006 for a premium amount of a mere Rs25 lakh against an amount Rs 4.60 crore, which was thecollector''s estimated price of the land at that time.

Tewari added that the trust was paying a token annualrent of a mere Re 1 instead of Rs 27 lakh that the Bhopaldistrict magistrate had recommended.

Replying to reports alleging that the Mayawatigovernment in Uttar Pradesh has taken away the status of stateguests from Congress MPs P L Punia and Jitin Prasada, theCongress spokesperson said such steps weaken the federalstructure.

"Only one government cannot do it. The othergovernment can also take such measures. It will be better ifthe UP government has a re-think over it," Tewari said. PTIAMR

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