Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Tuesday said that he has asked the chief secretary for a report on the allegations that minister Brijmohan Agrawal’s wife bought state forest land to build a resort. “[I] Have asked [the] chief secretary for a detailed report, will act accordingly,” Singh told ANI. Brijmohan Agarwal is currently the minister for agriculture, water resources and religious trusts and endowments.
The minister held several portfolios including school education, public works department, parliamentary affairs and tourism and culture when his wife bought the land, The Indian Express reported.
Sarita Agrawal had allegedly acquired 4.12 hectares of forest land near Sirpur area in September 2009, the English daily reported. Both Sarita Agarwal and her son Abhishek are directors of Aditya Srijan Private Limited and Purbasa Vanijya Private Limited that are constructing the resort, Shyam Vatika, on the plot.
According to records, the land originally belonged to a farmer, Vishnu Ram Sahu, who had donated it to Madhya Pradesh Water Resources department in 1994. Later, it was transferred to the forest department. In 2003, the forest department had spent Rs 22.90 lakh as part of an afforestation initiative on this plot.
Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Agrawal denied any wrongdoing. “[We] Had bought this land from a farmer, everything was in accordance with rules,” he told ANI. “We are not at fault anywhere.”