MUMBAI: Stepping up his attack on Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam today alleged that the Navi Mumbai "land scam" had "Delhi links".
Trashing Fadnavis' statement that the land in question did not belong to the CIDCO as a "lie", Nirupam said he would "drag" the chief minister to high court.
Accusing Fadnavis of acting as an "agent of Delhi", Nirupam asked him to apologise to the people of Maharashtra for having "lied" about the issue.
The former MP also demanded immediate suspension of the then managing director of CIDCO (City Industrial Development Corporation), under whose watch the land deal took place, and that of Raigad district collector.
The Congress had last Monday alleged that land in Navi Mumbai, meant for eight project affected people (PAP) of the Koyna dam and worth Rs 1,767 crore, was given to a private builder for just Rs 3.60 crore.
The opposition party had also claimed that the transaction had "blessings" of Fadnavis.
The Congress has been maintaining that the land in question belonged to CIDCO whereas the BJP claims that the land was owned by the state government.
Rebutting the allegations, the chief minister today told the legislative assembly that the land belonged to the government and was given to the project-affected persons for agricultural purpose only.
Fadnavis also said that he would order a judicial probe into the 200 cases of sale of land after allocation and also that of the alleged Navi Mumbai scam.
"The chief minister today said the land did not belong to the CIDCO. He has been lying till now, he lied even today (in the Assembly). He should apologise to the people of entire Maharashtra. I will drag him to court," Nirupam told reporters here.
During the briefing, he showed copies of purported correspondence between the CIDCO and other government authorities to drive the point that the land indeed belonged to the development agency.
He alleged that the land deal happened "with the knowledge of the chief minister".
"The episode has links to Delhi. I won't name anyone now. People in Delhi were first approached (for cutting the deal). Our chief minister works as an agent of the people in Delhi. The chief minister was told to facilitate the deal," he alleged.
Raising questions over the CIDCO's role, Nirupam sought to know why the planning agency did not object to the land deal.
"The CIDCO should have at least objected to the district collector allotting the 24 acre land to the PAPs, from whom the builder bought the plots. It did not. The (then) CIDCO MD is party to the scam," he charged.
The Congress leader also demanded a probe into the role of junior officers to "bring out the truth".
Nirupam welcomed the chief minister's announcement of a probe into the matter along with 200 other cases of land allotment by the previous Congress-led governments and sale of these lands.