Free Press Journal

Land Scam: Prithviraj Chavan rules out apology, sharpens attack on CM Devendra Fadnavis


Nagpur: Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan today ruled out tendering an apology as demanded by the BJP for levelling “baseless” allegations against Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in connection with a “land scam“.

The land deal issue today rocked the legislative assembly, with the Congress members seeking resignation of Fadnavis and suspension of Question Hour. The issue pertains to the sale of 24 acres of government land at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai to a private builder, allegedly for just Rs 3.6 crore. The Congress had alleged that the transaction had “blessings” of Fadnavis.

“The main issue in the land scam was that a builder filled an application seeking allotment of 24-acre land in Kharghar area on behalf of eight farmers last year on condition that they would sell it to him.

“The land located at prime location is valued at around Rs 1700 crore. However, it was sold to the builder for mere Rs 3.5 crore,” Chavan told reporters.

Hitting back at the Congress, the CM has said that the said land did not belong to CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation), as claimed by the Congress, but to the state government.

During rebuttal, the chief minister had said that event the erstwhile Congress-NCP government had given powers to the additional collector to allot agricultural land to project-affected persons on ownership basis.

Rallying around the CM in the House, BJP MLAs sought an apology from Chavan and Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil for “levelling baseless allegations against the chief minister”.

Questioning the CM’s remarks, Chavan said, “How can the government justify its actions by citing previous examples. There is no question of apology”. He also welcomed the CM’s announcement of a judicial probe into the land deal.

“We demand that the allotment of the said land be stayed,” he said.