Congress Demands Probe Into Madhya Pradesh Minister’s Land “Gift”

Govind Singh Rajput was “gifted” the 50-acre tract in Sagar district by his brother-in-laws.

Bhopal:

The opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh has demanded a thorough investigation into a “land gift” received by a state minister from his in-laws. Govind Singh Rajput was given 50 acres of land earlier this year. The irregularities in the transaction has robbed the state of several crores, the Congress claimed after NDTV reports, alleging it was just a process to help the minister launder black money.

Mr Rajput is one of the 22 loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia who exited the Kamal Nath government in 2020, leading to its collapse. In the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, he retained the same portfolio — Transport and Revenue.

Mr Rajput was “gifted” the 50-acre tract in Sagar district by his brother-in-laws earlier this year. The land was purchased by the Singh brothers just months before — in September 2021.

NDTV found that the land, when purchased by the Singh brothers, was described in the documents as a non-irrigable wasteland. But after the minister received it, it was classified as irrigable farmland. The Congress alleged the process was meant to evade stamp duty.

Also, with the land named irrigable farmland, the minister and his family received benefits under the state’s 1959 law on land revenue. Under the Section 58(3) of the Land Revenue Act, he did not have to pay further revenue.

“No land revenue shall be payable in respect of any holding up to two hectares used exclusively for the purpose of agriculture, such other land used for non-agricultural purpose as the State Government may, by notification, specify,” the law states.

Mr Rajput refused to respond to NDTV’s queries on the issue.

Former minister and Congress MLA Jeetu Patwari brought up the issue in the state assembly on Wednesday, during the debate on the no-confidence motion against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

“This clearly shows the Chief Minister has given full freedom to people like this minister to indulge in loot, just to form, run and save his government… The Chief Minister should answer what is the source of the money, else he should resign,” he told NDTV.

“The nature of the land also changed at least twice within a year.  Anyone can smell major fraud… The Chief Minister needs to get the matter investigated at highest level and the concerned minister should resign,” said former law minister and Congress MLA PC Sharma.

Not just the Congress, former BJP leader Rajkumar Dhanaura said the minister’s brother-in-law is not financially strong enough to buy such a vast tract of land.

“It is the minister’s black money which has been invested to buy the land — first in the name of his brother-in-law. A year later, the land was transferred to the minister and his relatives through donation,” said the leader, who was expelled by the BJP a couple of months ago for opening a front against Mr Rajput.

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