Actor Hema Malini on Monday denied any wrongdoing after a Right to Information query found that she had received land worth Rs 40 crore for Rs 70,000. Addressing a press conference, Malini said she had not yet received the 2,000-square metre plot in Mumbai's Oshiwara area after pursuing it for two decades, which is why she hasn't paid in full for it. She added that she will follow all necessary government rules to acquire the land. The 67-year-old actor-dancer said she plans to construct a dance institute on the plot.
When asked why she was not opening the dance institute in her constituency Mathura, the Bharatiya Janata Party MP said she had struggled in Mumbai for many years and has a “right to have this place”. “I am an artist; there is nothing political in this [matter],” she said, adding that Mumbai and the whole of Maharashtra will be proud to have such a classical dance institute amid the influx of Western influences.
RTI activist Anil Galgani found that the actor was given another plot of land in 1997, which she was unable to develop because of coastal regulations, but has yet to return. Both plots of land were allotted to Natyavihar Kala Kendra, a trust Malini runs.