Khaira de­mands probe into CM’S land deal; pro­pa­ganda, says govt

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - PUNJAB HINDUSTANTIMES - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

CHANDIGARH: Leader of op­po­si­tion in Pun­jab as­sem­bly Sukh­pal Khaira on Tues­day de­manded an in­quiry into land pur­chase by politi­cians, bu­reau­crats and other pow­er­ful peo­ple, in­clud­ing chief min­is­ter Capt Amarinder Singh, around Chandigarh.

In a com­plaint to chief sec­re­tary Karan Av­tar Singh, Khaira al­leged there was se­ri­ous con­flict of in­ter­est and breach of oath of of­fice and se­crecy by Amarinder who has pur­chased six acres of land at Palan­pur/siswan of Mo­hali district by Capt Amarinder Singh on Jan­uary 3 to build a house.

“The area is cov­ered under the Pun­jab Land Preser­va­tion Act (PLPA). The state govern­ment is likely to let the PLPA no­ti­fi­ca­tion per­tain­ing to vil­lages sur­round­ing Chandigarh lapse next month and it would mean a wind­fall for land sharks,” he said, re­leas­ing the com­plaint at a press con­fer­ence. He made the al­le­ga­tion fol­low­ing a news­pa­per report on the land pur­chased by the chief min­is­ter.

Khaira al­leged that Amarinder was well aware of the fact that the PLPA no­ti­fi­ca­tion would lapse on Fe­bru­ary 3, al­low­ing any piece of land for res­i­den­tial or com­mer­cial use which would in­crease its price by at least 10 times.

How­ever, the Pun­jab govern­ment dis­missed his al­le­ga­tions, call­ing them to­tally base­less, fab­ri­cated and ma­li­cious. Raveen Thukral, me­dia ad­viser to the chief min­is­ter, said the land pur­chased by Amarinder was not in Palan­pura, as was be­ing pro­jected, but in Siswan, which had been de­no­ti­fied by the erst­while SAD-BJP govern­ment under PLPA way back in 2011.

The me­dia ad­viser said the plot stopped be­ing cov­ered under PLPA since it was de­no­ti­fied on Aug 24, 2011, by then fi­nan­cial com­mis­sioner and sec­re­tary to Govt. of Pun­jab, depart­ment of forests and wildlife preser­va­tion.

“The charge of con­flict of in­ter­est and breach of oath of of­fice and se­crecy, made by the AAP leader, smack of cheap and dirty pol­i­tick­ing,” he said.

He said the CM would also be tak­ing all the nec­es­sary per­mis­sions, as re­quired under the law, for build­ing the pro­posed cot­tage on the pur­chased land as and when the time for con­struc­tion comes.

Sukh­pal Singh Khaira

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