A day after reports surfaced about Chattisgarh Minister Brijmohan Agrawal’s wife building a resort on state forest land, Chief Minister Raman Singh said that he asked the Chief Secretary about the matter. Agrawal has claimed that he and his wife has not done anything wrong as they were unaware of the land belonging to the Forest department, Indian Express reported. However, the complainant Lalit Chandranahu, of the Kisaan Mazdoor Sangh Mahasamund had been in touch with the Minister. He has reportedly sent a letter informing Agrawal about the land and spoke to him on the phone. After Chandranahu’s complaint, several government departments were pressed to look into the case. Brijmohan Agrawal’s wife Sarita Agrawal had bought a forest land of 4.12 hectares and is now building a resort there with their son, Abhishek Agrawal. Sarita Agrawal and Abhishek Agrawal are directors of companies that are working on the project, according to the report.
Minister Brajmohan Agrawal told the Indian Express, “Whatever we have done, we have followed all rules. The land that is being talked about acquired by my wife and my son was in the name of the farmer that it was purchased from. I think there is no mistake from our end. If there is a mistake, it is the seller’s fault which is why I think this is no issue.” Agrawal, on Chandranahu’s claims said, “I only want to say two lines. At the time the land was bought, it was registered to a farmer and all rules were followed, registry done, payments made. This has even been mentioned in my election affidavit. My family has not indulged in any malpractice.”
His refusal of the knowledge of the matter altogether thwarts the official records which show thats several officials were aware of the land’s status. Government departments including Water Resources Department (WRD), of which Agrawal is a minister himself, confirmed that the land belonged to the Forest Department but there was no change in the revenue records even as Sarita Agrawal bought it.
Raman Singh told IE, “I have asked the Chief Secretary for an urgent report from the Collector and other officers as to how the land was bought and what procedure was followed. Right now we are looking at what evidence there is. After that whatever details emerge, we will move forward on the basis of that.”