MUMBAI: Amid growing concern against violation of rules in erecting a commercial building on a piece of land allotted to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), with which Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi are associated, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday announced a probe into the deal.
In a written reply to BJP member Ashish Shelar, Fadnavis stated that the government would investigate who was responsible for allowing the land’s change of user. Shelar had demanded an investigation into the matter on a point of propriety. Express had reported in July that the plot, allotted for construction of library, was being misused.
According to documents procured by activist Anil Galgali under the Right to Information Act, the Maharashtra government in 1983 had allotted the land to AJL for `1.31 crore on a lease of 30 years to build its press, a Nehru memorial library and research centre. However, AJL did not follow the condition stipulating construction begin within three years of allotment. Instead, AJL has been constructing an 11-storey office building on the 3,478 sq ft plot close to the Western Express Highway. The construction was started as the lease of the plot expires on December 22.
The land, with a market value of `300 crore, was originally for a hostel for SC students.