BJP demands probe into Kandivali land deal transfer

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday demanded a probe into the “illegal transfer” of land in Kandivali in Mumbai in which the names of a former minister and an ex-Army chief have cropped up.

Scenting another opportunity to corner the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the principal opposition party also demanded an immediate comprehensive audit of all real estate assets in the possession or ownership of the Defence Ministry nationwide.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman said in a statement: The Defence Ministry should immediately institute an enquiry into this (Kandivali land transfer) matter and bring those guilty to face the law of the land.

However, she did not name either former minister of state for defence production Rao Inderjit Singh or former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor.

The two were mentioned as having intervened” in the Kandavali land transfer in favour of a private firm from the Central Ordnance Depot’s possession in a report by Pune-based Southern Army Commander Lieutenant General Pradeep Khanna to Army Chief General V.K. Singh seeking an investigation.

An immediate comprehensive audit must be carried out of all real estate assets in the possession or in the ownership of the Defence Ministry all across the country. A complete and detailed inventory list is required to be prepared in order to save defence property which is otherwise being frittered away for personal gains, Sitaraman said.

Noting that the reported sale to a private builder raises several critical questions as the land was under defence occupation since 1942, she said the land was sold off without even obtaining the bare sanction of the defence authorities, which Pradeep Khanna had called “illegal sale and transfer”.

The Adarsh Society issue is still being investigated. Now another scandal has come out in the open, again defence land, again from Maharashtra. The nexus between private builders, politicians and a few officials from the armed forces in Maharashtra is out in the open, she added.

When the Adarsh Society episode broke out last year, the Defence Ministry told parliament that it would examine a proposal to disband the defence estates and also bring in reforms in its real estate management.

The Adarsh scam had claimed the job of then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, whose mother-in-law was named as one of the beneficiaries in the 103-apartment building that came up on Army land within the naval station in upmarket Colaba area of Mumbai.

Filed under: Politics

will not be displayed