Congress Demands Probe Into Controversial Gujarat Land Deal Linked To CM's Daughter

05/02/2016 9:12 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
SAM PANTHAKY via Getty Images
Gujarat's first woman chief minister, Anandiben Patel looks on at the Town Hall in Gandhinagar, some 30 kms from Ahmedabad on May 21, 2014. Anandiben Patel was termed as the new Gujarat chief minister and will take the oath on May 22 in Gandhinagar. AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY (Photo credit should read SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)

New Delhi -- The Congress party has called for an independent investigation by a Special Investigation Team into the alleged allotment of 250 acres of land at Rs15 per square metre to a company owned by the business associates of Gujarat Chief Minister’s daughter, according to a report.

Congress leader Anand Sharma on Friday demanded immediate resignation of Gujarat CM Anandiben and accused prime minister Narendra Modi of turning a blind eye towards this allegedly shady land deal.

"Under PM Modi's watch when he was Gujarat CM, nepotism flourished and public land was plundered to promote commercial and business. For fair probe, it is necessary that then revenue minister and current Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel resign from her post,” the report said, quoting Sharma.

A report in The Economic Times on Friday said that a company called Wildwoods Resorts, owned by the business associates of Anandiben’s daughter Anar Patel, was allotted 250 acres of land near the Gir lion sanctuary at an official rate of Rs 15 per square metre. The company owns a total of 400 acres. The company got 250 acres of land for a mere Rs2 crore, calculations show.

Wildwoods Resorts and Realties, promoted by Dakshesh Shah and Amol Shripal Sheth, business associates of 45-year-old Patel, the daughter of Anandiben Patel, owns a 400-acre plot near the Gir lion sanctuary in Gujarat’s Amreli district.

ET's queries to the government of Gujarat did not elicit any response while Patel, Shah and Sheth insisted that all the transactions were above board.

Anandiben is also in charge of the revenue portfolio in her government. The original promoter of Wildwoods, a Dubai-based businessman named Sanjay Dhanak, told the paper that his initial plans of building a tourist resort on the land never took off.

Meanwhile, the current promoters claimed they have received all the necessary regulatory clearances for the project and that there was no prohibition on building a resort on the 400-acre tract. Wildwoods was owned by Dhanak when the land allotment orders were issued in 2010. It was after this that Shah and Sheth took control of the company. At present, Parshva Texchem and Anil Infraplus, which are entities in which Anar has substantial stakes, own Wildwoods.

Dhanak said he did not recollect how much was paid for the 422 acres of land. Dakshesh said he was not aware how much Wildwoods had paid for the land since he took a stake in the firm only in 2011 and was “not aware of previous transactions.”

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