Congress accuses Modi of nepotism, conflict of interest

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) The Congress on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of allowing nepotism, conflict of interest and plunder of public land for commercial and business purposes as the chief minister of Gujarat.

The party also demanded the resignation of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and a time-bound probe monitored by the Supreme Court into the whole matter.

“Shocking revelations in public domain make it abundantly clear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as chief minister of Gujarat, allowed nepotism, conflict of interest and brazen plundering of public land to promote commercial and business interests of entities closely connected to the kin of the then revenue minister and present Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel,” senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma told the media here.

“Allotment of 250 acres of government land next to the Gir lion sanctuary without any valuation or price determination for a pittance was in gross violation of all known procedures and regulations governing allocation of public land in eco-sensitive zones, allowing purchase of agricultural land by non-agriculturists as also change of land use of agricultural land for profiteering and commercial exploitation,” he added.

Sharma said: “In the light of the prime minister’s assurance to the nation of ‘zero tolerance for corruption’ and firm action against all acts of omission and commission, it becomes imperative that he come clean on this matter to uphold the dignity of the Prime Minister’s Office.”

Putting a question to Modi, the Congress leader said: “Was the allocation of 250 acres of public land next to the Gir lion sanctuary in public interest as also in conformity with laws, regulations and established procedure for alienation of government assets?”

“Was proper valuation or price determination for this government land done?”

He asked what the criteria were laid down for allotment of land to a company with no experience or knowledge of setting up resorts.

“Was Narendra Modi aware of the loss caused to the state exchequer?”

“Was Modi aware of clear conflict of interest of the then revenue minister Anandiben Patel while allocating the said land? Was this allocation based on a cabinet decision and endorsed by the then chief Minister and whether conflict of interest, if any, was disclosed?”

The Congress leader said that the party, therefore, demanded setting up of a special investigation team monitored by the Supreme Court for a time-bound probe into the entire matter. “For a fair probe, the Gujarat chief minister must also resign,” Sharma added.

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