Amethi: A plot of land here that is at the centre of a row between BJP and Congress was "illegally" transferred in the name of a bicycle company that had taken it on lease from UP government and later sold to a trust owned by the Gandhi family, a senior official said on Monday.
UP Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC) regional manager RS Pathak said the 65-acre land leased to Samrat Bicycles was "illegally" transferred on the company's name.
Pathak said that the company got the lease converted to ownership. He said that a letter has been written to the District Magistrate seeking correction in the record and the land should be returned to UPSIDC.
"The 65-acre land was leased on the name of Samrat Bicycles Limited. Later, the company got the land registered in its name in the Revenue department, which is illegal. The land should not be in then name the company as it was given it on a lease for 90 years," Pathak told PTI over phone.
"We have written a letter to the DM for correction. This land should be returned to UPSIDC," the RM said.
The land was "auctioned" to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust on February 24 this year. The 65.57 acre land was allotted to Samrat Bicycles in 1986 to set up a bicycle factory in Amethi parliamentary constituency by the UPSIDC.
The Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust paid Rs 20.10 crores for the land along with Rs 1 crore 50 thousands as stamp duty.
Meanwhile, Amethi District Magistrate Jagat Raj said,"I have investigated the case and there has been fraud. Because this land is 204 acre and in 1984 UPSIDC had acquired the land. UPSIDC then leased the land for 90 years to Samrat Bicycle Ltd.
"When any land is leased no name is registered. But for some reason, the land was registered in Samrat Bicycle's name and that was wrong.
The DM said that when the land was given to the company it should have started their business on that land, but the did no do it. "After that they were under heavy liabilities. Later, Delhi High ordered liquidation. Auction was done on the basis of the High Court order.
"It will not affect the deal, however, the trust will have the same powers on the land as the company had," Raj said.
On August 23, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani had
questioned the alleged sale of land meant for factory here to the trust.
Calling Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi a "liar", the BJP leader, who was addressing a rally here, claimed that Gandhi family had failed to deliver on their development promises to Amethi, which had to wait for all these years to get a rail line.
She claimed that 65 acres of farmers' land, which was acquired for setting up Samrat Bicycles factory, was sold to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust on February 24 this year.
However, Congress had dismissed the "land grab" allegation as "wild and baseless".
Terming the allegations as "absolutely wild and baseless", Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi had said, "I don't understand the connection between the closure of Samrat bicycles and the purchasing and auction under court orders."