JD(U) dares BJP to share details of land purchases

Was demonetisation two years in the making or two months? Did BJP buy land in 170 districts in 2015 or late in 2016? JD(U) dares BJP to reveal it all

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

NH Political Bureau

Pointing out that both BJP National President Amit Shah and the Union Law and Information Technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad have claimed that preparations for demonetisation were going on for the last two years, the Janata Dal (United) today dared the Bharatiya Janata Party to clarify whether the party in that case had been privy to the decision.

BJP leaders, JD(U) said on Thursday, had been changing their version and giving conflicting statements.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, while addressing a meeting of the Bihar Chamber of Commerce at Patna on Saturday, had apparently asserted that such decisions like demonetisation were never taken in a hurry. He had added that preparations were being made for the past two years and yet nobody was to learn about it.

At the same time in a television interview, BJP National President Amit Shah claimed that the party’s decision to purchase land in every district of the country was taken two years ago and that the party had so far purchased 170 plots of land across the country.

Amit Shah also accused JD(U) of misleading people with accusations that land purchased by BJP was linked to demonetisation and that the party had prior information of demonetisation. He claimed he had authorised state units to purchase land way back in January, 2015.

While Prasad had claimed the decision to purchase plots of land was taken in July, 2015.

So is the BJP national president telling the truth—that demonetisation was a decision taken in September-October-November, 2016 —or should one take the version of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that the decision was taken two years ago as the truth, asked JD(U) spokesmen Neeraj Kumar, Sanjay Singh and Rajiv Ranjan Prasad at a press conference in Patna on Thursday afternoon. If the minister’s version is taken to be true, said Kumar, BJP’s decision on purchase of land could well be linked to prior knowledge.

The JD(U) spokespersons also told the media that Amit Shah’s letter authorising purchase of land in fact dates to February, 2016 and released a copy of the letter. They also dared the BJP to divulge details of land purchased before September, 2016 and to come clean about the source of money it paid.

Earlier the JD(U) had flagged the issue and highlighted the following points:

1. Contrary to Amit Shah’s claim that land was purchased through cheques or RTGS bank transfers, several deeds from districts in Bihar show that the plots were purchased by the BJP by paying cash.

2. Several other deeds from districts in Bihar make no mention of the mode of payment. Let the BJP make the details public.


Refuting allegations by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the purchase of huge tracts of land by BJP ahead of demonetisation, BJP National Secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said in Kolkata on Thursday that it was a decision taken by the party two years ago to buy land for building party offices in each district of the country, according to PTI.

"The allegations are completely baseless. We have proper papers for everything. Secondly, the decision to buy land was taken by our party leadership two years back. We had then decided that we needed to have party offices in every district of the country. So in order to build a party office, you need to have land," Singh reasoned.

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