CPM drags TMC MP in benami land row

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
Deputy Leader of the CPM in the Lok Sabha and Politburo Member Muhammad Salim today demanded a time-bound inquiry by the Himachal Government into the benami land deals that are being undertaken in the state by flouting all norms.
Addressing a press conference here, Salim said several such “half-baked” land transactions were being made in violation of Section 118 of the Tenancy and Land Reform Act.
“I met Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, demanding an inquiry into the alleged land purchases made by Alchemist Hotels and Resorts owned by Rajya Sabha MP of the Trinamool Congress KD Singh in Kufri,” he said.
The details of all holding companies, in which the money collected from chit fund and other sources, invested had been given to the CM.
Salim said initially the Chief Minister said he was not aware of any such letter that had come to his office from Arun Jaitley but assured him that action would be taken. “The fact that no inquiry has been ordered by the government despite the letter from Jaitley points to the fact that those indulging in benami land deals have political shelter,” he alleged.
He said he had already handed over documents pertaining to all these deals, allegedly taking place with the connivance of higher ups, to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“The copies of the letters with complete proof of such illegal deals have been given to the Finance Minister, the Enforcement Directorate, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Chief Minister, the Revenue Minister, the Urban Development Minister and the Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh,” said Salim.
He alleged despite the Supreme Court declaring that documents such as general power of attorney (GPA) and agreement to sell and will are not legal means for land deals, these are being used to make these deals. “The government must hold an inquiry and seize the money that has exchanged hands and vest the land with it and register an FIR against all those involved in the conspiracy,” he demanded.
Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar said almost 1,000 bighas agricultural land had been bought by flouting norms at three different places with the value being over Rs 1,000 crore. “We are demanding an inquiry by the state government and will resort to all democratic means, including knocking at the doors of the government to unearth this nexus of the land mafia, active in Himachal,” he said.