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May 14, 2013 at 07:17pm IST

MP govt gave land at throwaway prices to bodies backed by RSS, BJP

Bhopal: MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is not only said to be favouring his family members. RTI documents with CNN-IBN show how the Shivraj government is also awarding land to institutions close to the BJP and the RSS. Saraswati Shishu Mandir, an RSS-backed educational institution was granted over 10 acres of prime land across the state between 2007 and 2008.

Another RSS-backed body, the Saraswati Bal Kalyan Samiti, was granted 7.14 acres of land in Satna.

Congress says the BJP has flouted all rules to allot land to their own organisations but not the poor. The BJP, however, retorts, "What's wrong if we promote education? Why can't Sangh be allotted land, if Congress can allot land to its own people?"

In all, land was allotted to the Saraswati Shishu Mandir chain in 32 places across the state. And in most cases, it was prime property given at throwaway prices. And what did the government seek in return from those to whom the land was allotted? Absolutely nothing. Not even subsidised education to the underprivileged.

BJP party workers benefited as well. Several acres of land were allotted to party workers in 22 districts. BJP student bodies - the ABVP and the Seva Bharti - were also granted land in Umaria, which is now being challenged in the High Court.

Anurag Modi, a member of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad, said, "The RTI has revealed that land was allocated selectively to various Sangh outfits while farmers across the state are being harassed. We are challenging this in court."

Shivraj Chouhan has long been an RSS favourite, but favouring saffron groups with land in an election year, will create awkward questions for MP Chief Minister.

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