Cong seeks to turn tables on BJP over corruption issue

Congress today sought to turn the tables on it by raking up the issue of Madhya Pradesh government allotting 20 acres of prime land at a nominal rent to a trust set up in memory of late BJP president Kushabhau Thakre.

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2011, 21:54 PM IST

New Delhi: With BJP seeking to make corruption a big issue, Congress today sought to turn the tables on it by raking up the issue of Madhya Pradesh
government allotting 20 acres of prime land at a nominal rent to a trust set up in memory of late BJP president Kushabhau Thakre.

"BJP has become Bharatiya Juggler Party instead of Bharatiya Janta Party. Giving a land worth Rs 60 crore for just Rs 1 as annual rent. I want to ask BJP is this illegal or immoral," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said alluding to an earlier remark by BJP President Nitin Gadkari over the land allotment controversies in BS Yeddyurappa-ruled Karnataka.

"Congress demands Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan must explain to the nation. Lal Krishna Advani, Venakaiah Naidu and BJP must explain their association with the trust," Tewari said.

Reports said that BJP government in MP allotted 20 acres of prime land in Bhopal worth Rs 60 crore to a trust set up in the memory of late party president Kushabhau Thakre by twisting rules.

Reports also had it that the trustees in this body include BJP leaders LK Advani and Venkaiah Naidu while its secretary is sitting BJP MP and former chief minister Kailash Joshi.

Tewari said the 20 acres of land was leased to the trust for 33 years in 2006 for a premium amount of a mere Rs 25 lakh against an amount Rs 4.60 crore, which was the collector`s estimated price of the land at that time.

Tewari added that the trust was paying a token annual rent of a mere Re 1 instead of Rs 27 lakh that the Bhopal district magistrate had recommended.

Replying to reports alleging that the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh has taken away the status of state guests from Congress MPs PL Punia and Jitin Prasada, the Congress spokesperson said such steps weaken the federal
structure.

"Only one government cannot do it. The other government can also take such measures. It will be better if the UP government has a re-think over it," Tewari said.

PTI