Gandhi family in BJP's sights over Amethi land row

Amethi (UP), Aug 25: BJP plans to target the Gandhi family in a big way over the alleged sale to a trust run by it of land meant for a bicycle factory here and said the party is awaiting the local administration's action on a complaint over the matter before proceeding with such programmes.

Citing a report of the CAG, which had questioned the transfer of the land's ownership to Samrat Bicycles, as well as Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC)'s complaint that the land belonged to it, a senior BJP leader said that the Rajiv Gandhi Trust had bought a piece of land which was never meant to be sold.

Land row: BJP to target Gandhi family

The party leader also alleged to the media today that there was likely a link between the company, which acquired over 65 acres of land in 1980s when Congress ruled Uttar Pradesh, and the opposition party.

"UPSIDC had complained to the local administration. We will wait for its action before we proceed with our further course of action," the BJP leader said. The BJP leader, who did not want to be quoted, alleged that the trust was in the possession of the land since 2011, but moved papers only in 2015.

However, terming the allegations "absolutely wild and baseless", Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi had said, "I don't understand the connection between the closure of Samrat Bicycles and the purchasing and auction under court orders."

Union Minister Smriti Irani had raked up the issue on Sunday during a tour of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's constituency as she charged the family with "land grabbing".

She had claimed that 65 acres of farmers' land, acquired for the setting up of the bicycle factory, was sold to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust on February 24 this year.

"Sixty-five acres of farmers' land was acquired for (bicycle) factory in the 80s. Did the factory come up, did anyone get a job, what happened to the land? "No one can dare to speak... but it is on stamp paper. The land was bought by Rajiv Gandhi Trust," she had alleged.

Referring to his stand in connection with the land Bill that he will not let anyone take an inch of farmers' land, Irani had taken a dig at Rahul Gandhi saying "he is indicating perhaps that he wants to take the land for himself. The documents are in public domain".

Slamming Irani for her remarks, Congress spokesperson Singhvi had said it demonstrated "utter irresponsibility" that a Union Minister should level such allegations.


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