AHMEDABAD: Congress today alleged that Gujarat government had illegally issued NOC for constructing a farm house on the land under eco-sensitive zone, acquired by a private firm which allegedly has close business links with Chief Minister Anandiben Patel's daughter Anar Patel, and "misled" the High Court on "facts".
The opposition party also alleged that government "altered" rules related to construction activities near eco sensitive zone of Gir sanctuary in Amreli district, "which is a clear case of corruption by CM to benefit her children". Senior leader Arjun Modhwadia alleged that Anar eventually benefited from the allocation of 246 acres of land at a nominal rate of Rs 60,000 per acre to Wildwoods Resorts and Realties Pvt Ltd (WWR).
"This land is situated near Gir Sanctuary in Amreli district, where one acre of land usually fetches a minimum price Rs 50 lakh. Though the land was given to the company to build a resort, the owners have created a mango orchard there," Modhwadia stated in a release. He said the administration as well as the council of ministers showed "immense promptness in accepting the proposal of WWR to acquire this land, which actually falls in eco sensitive zone where all kinds of construction is prohibited".
In 2010, Gujarat government was believed to have allotted 250 acres of land next to the sanctuary to WWR for setting up a resort, when Anandiben was Revenue Minister. Modhwadia said, "When high court was hearing a PIL about illegal construction in eco sensitive zone, Amreli collector told the court that Forest Department has not issued any NOC to the farm house on that land.
"Government misled the court because they knew that the NOC issued to the farm house in the past was illegal," he said. Modhwadia alleged that government changed rules related to construction near eco sensitive zone "to make sure that WWR becomes eligible to get fresh permission for construction. This is the clear case of corruption by CM to benefit her children". Meanwhile, Anar's father Mafatbhai Patel came to her defence claiming that she is innocent.
"These allegations against Anar are totally baseless. My daughter gave 22 years of her life for the upliftment of poor people. Opposition party members do not know anything about her sacrifice. This is an attempt to malign the CM's image by dragging Anar's name," he alleged. Anar's brother Swetank Patel termed Modhwadia as a failed politician and businessman.
In his latest Facebook post, Swetank warned Anar to be careful of 'blackmailers'. "Beware of black mailers. Arjun (Modhwadia) did not do anything in his life. Even he does not have any knowledge how to do business," he wrote on Anar's Facebook page.
The allotment of land to the company has kicked up a political storm with Congress demanding setting up of a Supreme Court-monitored SIT to go into all allotments of government land during the tenure of Modi as CM.
The government has already clarified that there was no contravention of norms in the allotment of land.