Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik on Friday said that those opposing the state government's decision regarding allotment of land to a trust should ask former state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as he had given similar "green signals" for the same.
Addressing a press conference, Malik said, "Earlier also, the institute has been given grants and those BJP leaders taking objection should ask Fadnavis about this as he had given green signal to it."
Commenting over state Revenue and Finance department reportedly objecting to the same, Malik said, "Department put their views of course, but it is not as if the land has been sold... It is a rental land for 30 years and to be used only and only for the invention of crops and seeds. This is in the interest of farmers of Marathwada."
Malik said that it's true that Pawar heads the organisation, but added that many MLAs and leaders including BJP leaders are also part of it.
"Maharashtra government has from time to time given grants and land has been given to many such institutes. BJP is trying to create doubt saying Pawar has done this, but earlier Devendra Fadnavis had also ordered to give this land to the institute," he said.
Clarifying reports of the Maharashtra government's action of giving land to Sharad Pawar's trust at a nominal rate, NCP leader Nawab Malik on Thursday said that the land was given to the Vasantdada Sugar Institute and not Sharad Pawar. Malik also mentioned that the institute works for the welfare of the farmers and so the issue must not be politicised.
Speaking to the media Malik said, "The land has been given on rent to Vasantdada Sugar Institute, not to Pawar, who is one of the trustees. Institute works for the welfare of sugarcane farmers. It shouldn't be politicized."
Earlier on Wednesday, the Maharashtra cabinet approved the allotment of a 100-acre government plot, valued at Rs 10 crore, in Marathwada’s Jalna to NCP president Sharad Pawar-chaired Vasantdada Sugar Institute on nominal rates. VSI has sought the land for sugar research and extension of its educational activities, as per reports.
According to reports, the Thackeray Cabinet, which sanctioned the proposal, overruling the objections raised by the state’s Revenue Department and the Finance Department and ignored an opinion submitted by the state’s Advocate General’s office. The land in question, measuring 51.33 hectares, and situated in Patharwala village in Jalna, was originally acquired by the state’s Agriculture Department for a state seed farm. The state’s official valuers estimated the plot’s market worth at Rs 9.99 crore, as per reports.
(with ANI inputs)