Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday said that the Supreme Court should intervene in the investigation ordered by the Uttar Pradesh government into the alleged illegal purchases of land parcels in Ayodhya. She described the state government’s inquiry order as an eyewash.
Gandhi’s demand came a day after the Uttar Pradesh government ordered an investigation into the allegations that elected representatives, state government officials and their relatives bought land parcels in Ayodhya after the Supreme Court verdict paved the way for a Ram temple.
At least 15 people who bought land parcels in Ayodhya after the Supreme Court judgement were local politicians, close relatives of government officials currently posted in the district or have served there before, and revenue officers who cleared land transactions, according to an investigative report by The Indian Express.
“A piece of land which was sold in 2017 to someone was then sold by that person in two parts,” Gandhi said at a press conference on Thursday. “The first part was sold directly to the Ram Mandir Trust for Rs 8 crore. The second part, 19 minutes later, was sold to a certain Ravi Mohan Tiwari for Rs 2 crore.”
She added: “Five minutes later, this Mr Ravi Mohan Tiwari, is selling that Rs 2 crore land for Rs 18.5 crore to the Ram Mandir Trust. Basically, the Trust is giving Rs 8 crore and Rs 18.5 core for a piece of land which is probably a little more than Rs 2 crore.”
Gandhi claimed that the investigation would not be conducted appropriately as there was involvement of state government officials in the case.
Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary, Information, Navneet Sehgal said that the investigation would be conducted by the state’s revenue department.
“Land from Dalits which is not allowed to be sold has also been illegally taken by some [government] officers,” Gandhi alleged on Thursday. “Basically, what is happening is that in the area around the Ram temple, workers and office bearers of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and some big officials of the party are buying and selling land to benefit themselves and using money from the trust for this purpose.”
She also noted that several citizens had contributed to the fund to construct the Ram temple, alleging that their hard-earned money was being misused.
“Almost every household in the country had donated something to Ram Mandir Trust,” Gandhi said. “A door-to-door campaign was held. This is a matter of devotion and that is being toyed with.”
Gandhi said the Supreme Court should intervene since the construction of the Ram temple is already being monitored by it, reported NDTV.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati also called for a investigation led by the Supreme Court, reported the Hindustan Times. “The central government should direct the state government to take this issue seriously,” she added.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said in a tweet: “[A] Hindu follows the path of truth. Hindutva robs under the guise of religion.”
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