Delhi

Opposition slams BJP on illegal land deals in Ayodhya

After several BJP politicians, including an MLA, Mayor, and a former legislator figured in the Ayodhya Development Corporation’s list of people engaged in illegal land deals, the Opposition parties on Monday slammed the BJP and questioned the Narendra Modi government’s silence on the issue.  

While the Congress asked the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of the questionable land deals, the Aam Aadmi Party demanded that the illegal constructions be bulldozed and questioned why the Uttar Pradesh government was only now waking up to the issue. 

‘Huge property scam’

Tagging a related news report, which revealed that 40 people had been accused of trading in land illegally in Ayodhya, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet in Hindi, “BJP scam in the name of Maryada Purushottam Lord Ram. Why is Home Minister Amit Shah silent on this?” Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate alleged a “huge property scam” is happening in Ayodhya as her party demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi break his silence on the issue.

“We have been saying this since June 2021 when things came to light on how the land scam is happening in Ayodhya but now the Ayodhya development authority has put out a list of 40 people who have been involved in a land scam in the building of the Ram temple and prominent among those are the Ayodhya’s BJP MLA Ved Prakash Gupta, BJP Mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay, former BJP MLA Gorakhnath Baba and multiple officers in the Uttar Pradesh government whose relatives have bought land,” Ms. Shrinate said.

Mr. Upadhyay and Mr. Gupta have claimed innocence and alleged foul play in the list of alleged offenders released by the authority.

AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh too said he had been raising this issue since 2022 and that he had also sent a police complaint to the Nagar Kotwali station on June 24, naming Mr. Upadhyay as one of the accused, on which, he claimed no action had been taken yet. 

‘23 FIRs filed’

“When I raised my voice, cases were registered against me which even involved cases of sedition. Nine FIRs within one day and a total of 23 FIRs were filed against me but no action was taken against the people against whom I wanted an inquiry to take place,” Mr. Singh said. 

“The only probe that is happening into the land scam is at the district magistrate-level. How can the DM probe the MLA, the ex-MLA, the Ministers in the Uttar Pradesh government,” Ms. Shrinate said, adding that people’s donations were being “played around”, which was akin to “stealing from that donation”. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Singh questioned the Uttar Pradesh government’s “deep sleep” over the scam, urging Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to “wake up” and act against those who had built structures illegally in the area. “When the water went above the head, the Yogi government got up from sleep. This is their habit. I demand that all the illegal construction done by these 40 people should be bulldozed. The land should be vacated immediately. An investigation should be done as to how they managed to construct colonies in a green belt. All those officials involved in this scam should be identified and sent to prison.”

Prior to the Assembly elections held earlier this year, rival parties in the State had raised the issue of alleged illegal purchase and sale of land in Ayodhya. Local MP Lallu Singh had also written to Mr. Adityanath demanding a probe by a Special Investigation Team.


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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 9:00:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/opposition-slams-bjp-on-illegal-land-deals-in-ayodhya/article65747213.ece