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Prez daughter's name dragged in Pune land row

By Mamatha

Maharashtra map
Pune, Aug 30: The villagers of Jambhe, 30 kilometers from Pune, are protesting the local panchayat leader's decision to suddenly allot large plots of land to a trust run by President Pratibha Patil's daughter Jyoti Rathod.

Laxam Gayakwad, a Panchayat member said that the villagers are against outsiders being given land when the people of the village don't have enough for themselves.

The panchayat leader is now facing criticism for allotting two plots of 10 acres each to an educational trust run by Jayant Patil and about 17 acres land to Jyoti Rathod's trust.

Vivek Velankar, an RTI activist said, " This is a blatant violation. Even if they wanted to hand over the land for private use they should have invited tenders for this sale of the land. Land has been handed over to these VIPs at 1/10th the market price. Citizens can challenge this and take the matter to court."

"It is only 20 acers of land, an engineering college will be built there, in Maharashtra giving land for educational organisations is not new, many trusts have got such land before, it is all legal," says Rural Development Minister of Maharashtra, Jayant Patil.

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