The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today accused Punjab cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh of owning 142 kanals of land along with his family members in a village near Mohali in alleged violation of rules. Singh, the irrigation and power minister, however, has denied the charges. “Rana Gurjit Singh, his brother and sister-in-law bought 142 kanals of land in Seounk village in Mohali in violation of the provisions of the East Punjab Land Holdings Act, 1948,” AAP MLA Sukhpal Khaira alleged while addressing media here.
“Rana Gurjit Singh and his family members have blatantly violated section 42(A) of the East Punjab Land Holdings Act 1948 passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 2007. “According to this provision, no village common land/Theh Shamlat land or Hasab Rasab can be partitioned or its tile changed to any person or persons,” claimed Khaira, who had earlier also attacked Gurjit on the issue of sand mining auction.
He said this land was bought from the year 2014 till 2017. The opposition party also accused the minister of raising loan worth Rs 109 crore allegedly in “connivance” with bank officials by mortgaging land whose market value was not more than Rs 50 lakh while describing it as a “scam”.
“The minister in connivance with certain bank officers raised a loan of Rs 109 crore against 142 kanals of land owned by his family in village Seounk. The collector rate of one acre is only Rs 2.50 lakh which means the market value of the total land size could not be more than Rs 50 lakh,” he claimed.
The AAP MLA from Bholath further alleged that the minister got the ‘girdawri’ of 458 kanals of land (shamlat land/Gair Mumkin Pahad) in favour of his brother and sister- in-law fraudulently.
He claimed that Kulwinderpal Singh, whose name figured in alleged sand mining auction, was present during the execution of sale deed in favour of the minister’s family last month.
“The minister initially disowned Kulwinderpal whose name came to light in sand auction mining. But he made a false statement as the execution of sale deed was made by Kulwinderpal in favour of minister,” he alleged.
The AAP has sought a CBI probe into the matter and urged Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to sack Rana Gurjeet Singh.
Meanwhile, Gurjit Singh dismissed the charges leveled against him by Khaira.
“You (Khaira) better prove the charges or shut up,” he said.
“Khaira has either been speaking out of sheer ignorance to malign my image or for his desperate political survival as he stands sidelined in his own party after failing to become legislative party leader or the state president of the AAP”, he claimed.
The minister also denied having taken any loan as claimed by the AAP leader. “The loan of Rs 109 crore has been taken by a company, Superior Foodgrains Private Ltd, three years ago. Rs 55 crore was a term loan and Rs 40 crore as working capital. The loan was taken against the company itself. The land which was pledged was for additional security for the comfort of the bank. Like in case of a housing loan, the house in itself is the security for the bank, in case the Superior Foodgrains company is the security for the bank,” he claimed.