Chandigarh: The main opposition BJP on Thursday demanded an independent probe into the controversial land deal between Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and realty major DLF group, while slamming the Haryana government for shunting out IAS officer Ashok Khemka for ordering a probe into the same.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman said, “We demand an explanation from the Hooda government for transferring Ashok Khemka, the former Director General of Land Consolidation, three days after he ordered a probe into the vadra-DLF deal.”
Hitting out at the Congress party, BJP leader said, “We also want the sealing of all documentary evidence in connection with the case and an independent probe into the Vadra-DLF deal.”
Seetharaman said the Haryana government was not probing the "undue benefits" in the land deal and instead was inquiring into the conduct of the officer.
She further stated that the Haryana government was trying to save Vadra and alleged that the Congress had an "Emergency mindset".
"The Congress is in complete shambles, they do not know what to do next."
Reaction from the BJP came hours after Harayana’s Town and Country Planning head TC Gupta defended the controversial land deal and demanded action against Khemka for his baseless allegations in connection with the case.
Gupta today alleged that IAS officer Ashok Khemka’s order cancelling the mutation of Robert Vadra-DLF land deal contained "factual inaccuracies" and had been passed in "total disregard of administrative propriety".
In a strongly worded letter to state Chief Secretary PK Chaudhery yesterday, Gupta, Director General of Haryana's Town and Country Planning Department, referred to "orders of Director General, Consolidation of Land Holdings & Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration issued on October 15.”
Gupta, a senior IAS officer, said the original copy of Khemka's order has still not been received by his Department, "even though the same has found its way to all newspapers/ electronic media".
"In these orders, certain comments have unnecessarily been made against the working of this Department which are not only unfounded but totally uncalled for," he said.
"The orders contain factual inaccuracies, vitiated by legal infirmities and have been passed in total disregard of administrative propriety," Gupta said in the letter.
In the order, Khemka, who was transferred from his post of Director-General, Consolidation on October 11 and relinquished his charge on October 15 evening, had cancelled the mutation of the land sold by Vadra's company to realty major DLF.
Khemka had observed that the Town and Country Planning Department should not have renewed the LOI/licence granted to the vendor when a major portion of the consideration money had already been paid to it by the DLF.
When contacted this morning, Khemka told reporters that he would like to "offer no comment" on Gupta's letter. "A government order has been passed on the issue…if TC Gupta finds it wrong, he is free to go to court, " Khemka said adding, “Any party is free to go to court against my order if they feel it is unfounded…the government is the competent authority, let it decide on it."
The Haryana government and the Congress have been under fire from the Opposition as well as India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal over the transfer of IAS officer Ashok Khemka. Khemka was transferred after he began a probe into the Vadra-DLF deal in Manesar. However, before leaving office, Khemka ordered the cancellation of mutation of land in the deal.
With PTI Inputs
First Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 15:57