No violation, conflict of interest: Amarinder on land purchase

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Chandigarh, Feb 3 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday rejected any violation of the rules or conflict of interest in the land purchase done by him in Mohali district, adjoining Chandigarh.

Accusing the opposition of unnecessarily creating a controversy to promote its vested political interests, the Chief Minister said that there was nothing illegal in the land purchased by him.

“Is the Chief Minister not allowed to purchase land,” he asked, hitting out at those who were trying to mislead people with baseless allegations of conflict of interest.

“In fact, I paid higher than the market rate to purchase the land in question since the owner was not willing to sell the said plot, located in Siswan in Mohali.

Against the market rate of Rs 30 lakh, I have actually paid double the amount – at about Rs 60 lakh per acre,” Singh told the media.

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Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had recently raised the Chief Minister’s land purchase issue saying that it had “serious issue of conflict of interest and breach of oath of office and secrecy by the Punjab Chief Minister”.

Singh, who became Chief Minister for the second time in March last year, purchased six acres of land at village Palanpur/Siswan of Mohali district on January 3.

He said that he had purchased the land to build a house close to Chandigarh. Khaira claimed that as per Punjab government notification dated 03-02-2003, the said area is covered under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) and construction activity is not allowed in the area.

He alleged that Singh purchased the land just before the PLPA was to lapse on 03-02-2018 (on Saturday) as the land price will shoot up.

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“I have learnt through important media reports today, that the Punjab government is likely to let the PLPA notification pertaining to villages surrounding Chandigarh lapse after the 3rd February 2018.

“This act of Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister is nothing but gross conflict of interest, besides serious breach of oath of secrecy and office to uphold the constitution,” Khaira said.

–IANS

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