Gujarat civic body had reserved it for social infra
- The Gujarat government is, through BJP-controlled Surat MC, set to ‘return’ the disputed land in Surat to a private sports club owned by diamond tycoon Laljibhai Patel
- An international sports complex will be built on the land that was marked by the MC as ‘reserved for social infrastructure’
- The civic planning committee has reportedly accepted Sports Minister Nanubhai Vanani’s request to change the ‘purpose’ of the land from social infrastructure to sports activities
- Laljibhai had bought Modi’s pinstriped suit (pic) , which earned the NDA ‘suit-boot ki sarkar tag’ from Congress, for Rs 4.31 crore
AHMEDABAD, June 20
The BJP government in Gujarat has planned to return the “favour” diamond tycoon Laljibhai Patel had done by purchasing PM Narendra Modi’s monogrammed suit for Rs4.31 crore in February.All arrangements have been made through the BJP-controlled Surat MCto “return” 12,000 sq m on the outer ring road of the Surat city to a Patel-owned sports club for the construction of an “international standard sports complex.
”The disputed land, priced around Rs54 crore, was earlier marked by the civic body as “reserved for social infrastructure”, which could have included construction of roads, hospitals or any other public utility service.
The Anandiben Patel government’s tacit approval became apparent after Gujarat Sports Minister Nanubhai Vanani signed the application along with Patel for “reconsideration” of the “reservation purpose” of the land. The civic planning committee this week reportedly accepted Vanani’s “request” and agreed to change the purpose from social infrastructure to sports activities.
The draft plan would now be sent to the state government for approval, which is being considered a “formality”. Though the disputed land has not yet been earmarked to Patel, it is expected after the state’s approval.Lone Congress member in the nine-member committee, Nitin Bharucha, alleged the diamond tycoon had bought the “Modi suit” to get back his land. He said the civic body had never accepted such requests from farmers losing land in reservation.
“Apparently, the BJP-controlled civic body has prepared the stage to restore the land Patel was losing in reservation as a reward for purchasing Modi’s suit,” Bharucha said.
Town Planning Committee chairman Babu Jirawala, however, denied the civic body was extending any special favour to Patel. “We have not reduced the quantum of his land going in reservation, nor have restored the reserved land to him,” he said.
Deputy municipal commissioner (development and planning) Jivan Patel said the reserved land could be regrouped in continuous sequence as the owners of the adjacent plots going in reservation had no objections in changing the ownership. “Ownership of the land is being regrouped only to facilitate construction of the sports complex,” he said.
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