M A I N   N E W S

land deal
Majithia takes out panel report to tear into Bajwa
Tribune News Service

Bikramjit Majithia
Bikramjit Majithia

Chandigarh, November 1
Trouble for the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Partap Singh Bajwa may have just begun.

Even as most observers felt tension would be defused today, after yesterday’s tirade by the Treasury Benches against Bajwa, accusing him of buying shamlat land on Chandigarh’s periphery, Revenue Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia took the Congress Legislature Party by surprise. He read out report of the Justice Kuldip Singh panel that had indicted the Congress leader for acquiring panchayat land.

Amidst a rather delayed and seemingly half-hearted uproar by the Opposition benches, the minister went on to read the findings of the report, which said the land bought by Bajwa, was “shamlat deh”, which could not be sold by any individual.

The report had looked into the acquisition of land by VIPs on Chandigarh’s periphery and was submitted by the panel in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in March this year.

The Opposition, reportedly under instructions from the party high command to step up their defence for Bajwa, said it was unfair to single out Bajwa while reading contents of the report.

Led by Gidderbaha MLA Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, the Congress MLAs demanded that the minister also read out names of other persons, including the Director General of Police, whose names had also come up in the report.

“Why are you leaving out your own people? You should include the names of all who have been involved in such land deals,” some MLAs said.

Majithia then read out all other names, including that of members of the PPCC president’s family. The land had been bought by them at rates lower than the prevailing market price, he said.

He substantiated this by showing how a chunk of two-acre land owned by a member of the Bajwa family in Bharonjian village was bought for Rs 1.5 crore per acre, while four months later, a piece of 22.5 acre was bought by another member of the family for Rs 13.27 lakh per acre.

By buying under-valued property, the Bajwas had evaded stamp duty, he said. The Revenue Minister also said that a company floated by the Bajwas with a paid-up capital of just Rs 1 lakh had bought land worth Rs 3 crore. The matter needed a thorough investigation, he said.

Majithia asked Congress MLAs if they would like to have such a person as their party leader. Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar later said the Congress had sought probe against all those involved in such deals, be it Congress or Akali leaders or other VIPs.

Charanjit Kaur Bajwa was seen sitting uncomfortably in her seat all this while. Not satisfied with the response of her party MLAs, she got up and said they were open to any inquiry. “We are not afraid of anyone. We fear only God. Why are you singling out Bajwa after he has become the PPCC president,” she said. Only a handful of MLAs, including Warring, Balbir Singh Sidhu (Mohali MLA) and Kuljit Singh Nagra got up in her defence.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |