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Praful Patel clears air over Ceejay House: "Not in-charge of the property at this stage"

By Vishal S

Mumbai, Oct 15: Former Union Minister Praful Patel on Tuesday sought to clear the air over allegations of his link to an alleged land deal with a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim.

He addressed the media today and spoke at length about the allegations levelled against him. "I was busy in the election campaign, so couldn't answer any of the questions," he said.

Former Union Minister Praful Patel

Mumbai property, Ceejay House, is at the centre of the entire controversy. It has been alleged that Patel redeveloped, Ceejay House which was allegedly owned by Dawood Ibrahim-aide late Iqbal Mirchi - in 2005.

"There are speculative views and documents which may have been leaked to media. Obviously, you are in possession of some papers which may have never been brought to my attention," he said.

NCP leader Patel was a member of the Union Cabinet and served as civil aviation minister from 2004 to 2009 in the first term of the UPA government led by the Congress.

According to reports, NCP earlier said the property was with the Court Receiver from 1978 to 2005 due to a dispute among co-owners and not owned by Mirchi as per media reports. During this period, there was an illegal occupant in the premises behind the then building, the NCP said.

"I want to put things in perspective. Ceejay land in Worli was bought in 1963. There was a family dispute for the land...Initially, the land was brought on 4th November 1963, it was sold to 65 people which included 21 people of my family...Behind the building, there were some illegal occupants," he said.

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