Mumbai, July 2 (IANS) The Mumbai Congress on Monday leveled a sensational allegation against Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, accusing him of handing over a prime plot of land in Navi Mumbai to a builder for a pittance.
Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam and party's national spokesperson Ranjeet Singh Surjewala told media persons that the Fadnavis government has transferred 24 acres of land worth around Rs 1,767 crore, to Paradise Builders, for a measly Rs 3.60 crore only.
The plot in question is on the satellite city on the mainland and belongs to the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDC), they said, adding it was reportedly intended to rehabilitate project affected persons and farmers of the Koyna Dam project.
Terming it a mega scam, Nirupam and Surjewala have demanded an investigation by two sitting judges of Bombay High Court.
"Causing loss to the public exchequer and betraying the poor in order to shower the rich crony friends is deeply intrinsic character of the BJP. The 'suit-boot' governments at the centre and in BJP-ruled states seek to outbid each other in benefitting their handful of crony friends," said Nirupam.
Elaborating on the charge, Nirupam, detailing the modus operandi, said in 2017, Paradise Builders sought land in Navi Mumbai close to the upcoming international airport and officials allegedly identified gullible farmers ousted in the Koyna Dam project to getting CIDCO land allotted and then transferring it to the realtor.
In February this year, the Raigad Collector allotted the 24 acres of land in village Ranjanpada to eight ousted farmer families, while "the Paradise Buildes had already entered into an agreement to transfer this land for Rs 15 lakh per acres with the farmers", he said.
"The CIDCO and Urban Development Department (UDD) headed by Fadnavis gave their NOC to denotify the land so it could be transferred to the builder," he added.
All other formalities were completed speedily and the builder was given the possession of the land last month, at a pittance of Rs 15 lakh per acre, when CIDCO had sold adjoining lands for a staggering Rs 184,000 per square metre.
The Congress leaders also asked who were the eight farmers and how were they identified, how were they allotted prime CIDCO land instead of agricultural land, how the builder made agreements of sale with the farmers which they sold immediately after allotment for a pittance compared to the market value.
They sought to know what is the relationship between CIDCO-UDD and Paradise Builders, and why they secured Fadnavis' blessings for a 'sweetheart deal' at a pittance of Rs 3.6 crore for prime land worth around Rs 1,767 crore, and the alleged irregularities by the concerned government departments who colluded to facilitate the deal.
However, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Madhav Bhandari promptly dismissed all the allegations terming them as "false and baseless", while Fadnavis' close confidante and legislator Prasad Lad threatened to file a Rs 500 crore defamation against the Congress.