Chandigarh, June 15: AAP MLA Sukhpal Khaira on Wednesday levelled fresh allegations against Punjab power minister Rana Gurjit Singh, accusing him of fraudulent land purchase at a Kharar village in SAS Nagar district.
The wars of words between the two leaders intensified with Rana trashing the allegation as baseless.
At a press conference in the Vidhan Sabha complex, Khaira said Rana purchased village common land at Seonk in the Kharar subdivision and later availed a loan of Rs 109 crore by mortgaging it. He said the bank last released part of the loan amount on April 17.
The AAP MLA said Rana and his family members have violated Section 42-A of the East Punjab Land Holdings Act, 1948, according to which neither the village common land can be partitioned nor its tile can be changed. He said it was difficult to understand as how the minister managed to get a loan of over Rs 100 crore against 458-kanal land in a village. He said the present value of the land, registered on May 18, is Rs 58 lakh only.
Rana and his son Rana Inderpal, who is managing director of the family-owned Rana Sugars, also addressed mediapersons at their residence.
“Khaira has either been speaking out of sheer ignorance to malign my image or is desperate for political survival. He has been sidelined in AAP as he was not made the legislative party leader or the party state president,” the minister said.
“If Khaira proves the charges, I will resign,” he said.
Responding to the allegations of fraudulent land purchase, Rana said, “The court of SAS Nagar additional deputy commissioner (ADC development) using powers of collector had ordered on July 1, 2016 that the land does not come under the definition of 2(G) and hence its ownership does not vest with the gram panchayat.”
“The court had accepted the petition of 180 Seonk residents. The ADC declared all of them as owners of the part of land under their possession,” he said. The minister also produced a copy of the order.
“I have not purchased the land. My brother Rana Ranjit Singh and his wife did. It was only that Kulwinder (a former employee whose name cropped up in sand mining auctions) had my power of attorney and he used it. Where is the fraud?” he claimed.
Inderpal said, “The Rs 109 crore loan was taken three years ago by our company Superior Foodgrains in which my uncle and aunt (minister’s brother and his wife) are partners. Rs 55 crore was term loan and Rs 40 crore was working capital. The loan was taken against the company itself. The land was pledged as additional security for the bank’s comfort .”
On Khaira’s allegation of his being a defaulter, Rana said, “Yes we owe Rs 52 crore to farmers. Even the UP government owes me Rs 72 crore payment.”
News Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com