Jaipur: Rajasthan Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore has clarified that the state government has not ordered any survey of land of Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. He has distanced the revenue board, which ordered a probe, from the state government.
Speaking to CNN-IBN he said “State government has not passed any orders to survey Vadra’s land. The chairperson of the Revenue Board which functions independently has written to collectors to give a report. This was after a question was raised on this in the Rajasthan Assembly during previous government. Cannot say anything of the government’s future course of action on the report after it comes since the move has not been initiated by the government.”
Earlier a section of the media reported that BJP government of Vasundhara Raje ordered a probe into Vadra’s alleged land deals in the state.
According to reports CP Meena, chairperson of the Rajasthan Revenue Board, has written to the district magistrates of the bordering districts of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Barmer to collect details about Vadra’s land holdings in the state. The state government’s initial calculation suggests Vadra may have bought over 10,000 acres of land in the state.
Meena said he has asked for information about lands changing hands during the previous Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot. Evidence available in the public domain suggests that the Congress governments of Rajasthan and Haryana had facilitated Vadra’s huge land acquisitions. The Congress and the Haryana government, however, insist that Vadra’s real estate dealings were his private transactions and did not involve any illegality.
When the Rajasthan Congress government was offering financial help to farmers, Vadra on the other hand reportedly bought land from them for as low as Rs 20,000 an acre. A plot of 30 hectares which was available for Rs 4.45 lakh two years ago fetches nearly Rs 2 crore today.
The Revenue Board is looking into the circumstances under which Vadra bought agriculture land and converted it into industrial one for his business purposes. The state government is also verifying if Vadra violated the ceiling law and compensation paid to local farmers. A team of officers will get in touch with the farmers to record their statements and find out if they had willingly sold their land or were coerced to do so for a paltry sum.
The four companies under the scanner are North India IT Parks Ltd, Real Earths Estate Pvt Ltd, Sky Light Realty Pvt Ltd, Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd. All the companies are owned by Vadra and each firm bought at least 1,000 acres of land.