Zee Media Bureau
Mumbai: In the wake of mounting pressure from the Opposition, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla has decided to give back the controversial Mumbai plot to the Maharashtra government, a report said on Wednesday.
According to a newspaper, Shukla claimed he has decided to return the land despite incurring financial loss to the tune of Rs 5 to 6 crore.
In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Shukla wrote: "I wish to return the land allotted to me by the state government as we have not been able to carry out the project as it is not encroachment free. I have not been able to take the possession of the land or proceed with the school project."
The newspaper quoted officials in CMO as confirming: "We have received a letter from Shukla urging the government to reclaim the land."
On Monday, the Maharashtra unit of the BJP had demanded the resignation of Shukla, accusing him of involvement in a land scam in Mumbai.
State Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya and spokesperson Madhav Bhandari had told media persons that Shukla had been allotted at a throwaway price a plot of land worth around Rs 1 billion in Andheri.
The two leaders said the allotment was made during the tenure of late chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, and sought a detailed probe against officials involved in the matter in 2007 when Shukla was secretary for the BAG Films Education Society (BFES).
The land measuring 2,821 sq metres at the posh Andheri suburb was allotted for a nominal price to the New Delhi-based BFES, headed by Shukla and his wife Anuradha Prasad.
The BJP leaders submitted a box containing documents pertaining to the allotment to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan`s office.
Somaiya said the papers revealed plans to construct a clubhouse with squash, tennis and swimming facilities on the plot.
He said that when he sought details from the revenue and forest departments through the RTI mode, he was informed that the particular file was burnt during last year`s fire at the Mantralaya, the state government headquarters in Nariman Point, south Mumbai.
Later, Chief Minister Chavan clarified that copies of all the files were available and Somaiya said inter-departmental communication would lead to the availability of relevant documents.
BFES has not got physical possession of the plot as there are some 40 hutments on it.
(With Agency inputs)