The Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust chaired by Sonia Gandhi has been slapped with a notice by the Amethi district administration for using land that belongs to the state for running a vocational training centre for women allegedly without proper authorisation. “The land (about 10,000 square feet) in Jais had been earmarked for various activities of the state government like community health centres, schools and other community facilities. But, the Trust was using it for giving training to local women,” Sub Divisional Magistrate, Tiloi tehsil, Ashok Shukla said today.
He said that the land should be under control of a government department or institution as per rules. Through the notice served on April 22, the administration has asked the Trust under which order it was using the land, he said. Congress President Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of the Trust and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who represents Amethi in Lok Sabha, is one of the trustees. “There are no papers available to show under whose authority it was being used by Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna,” Shukla said. “So far no reply has come from the Trust,” he said. Earlier, two notices were served to the Trust by the district development officer and the chief development officer of the district, but went unreplied.
When contacted, a senior official of Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna told PTI that the Trust has replied to the notice on April 27 saying that the land was allotted to Manuj Kalyan Kendra. “We are running the programme jointly for the last 13 years,” he said, requesting anonymity. The land was earmarked in 1982 for vocational training for women by the then district magistrate but while the Trust started work on the land under the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna, there has been no transfer of land. Raebareli is the parliamentary constituency of Sonia Gandhi and the district Congress leaders say the land was given to Thakur Das Trust in 1984.