President Pratibha Patil's brush with controversy
The Pune land row is not the first time President Pratibha Patil has found herself in a controversy.
An RTI disclosure has revealed that President Pratibha Patil has been allotted defence land, the size of which is six times more than she's eligible for, in Pune to construct a bungalow. President's office, however, said that the government's defence establishment owns the land. This is not the first time the President has found herself in a controversy. Presenting a list of the past controversies the President was involved in:
March 2012: It came to light that President Pratibha Patil had spent Rs 205 crore on her foreign visits, highest so far by any President. Since assuming office since July 2007, Patil had undertaken 12 foreign trips to 22 countries across four continents.
Feb 2012: President Pratibha Patil's son and Congress MLA from Amaravati Rajendra Sekhawat allegedly used his status as President's son to acquire a 532 sq m plot of land worth Rs 1.50 crore and in possession of the NCC, for a college run by Vidya Bharati Education Society (VBES), a charitable body, while he was the organisation's chairman.
Dec 2011: Rajendra Shekhawat is accused of misusing President Pratibha Patil's position to consolidate his political base. President Patil inaugurated a flyover near Kondhali, 20 km from Amravati, on the Nagpur-Ahmedabad highway. The function was included in her official itinerary on the insistence of Shekhawat. Inauguration of a flyover is against the dignity of the President.
June 2007: Rajni Patil, a professor at a Jalgaon college, claimed that Pratibha Patil's brother G N Patil was the person who had murdered her husband, Jalgaon congressman Vishram G Patil. She accused Pratibha Patil of shielding her brother.
June 2007: It came to light that a women cooperative bank became insolvent after loan waiver to family members and relatives of Pratibha Patil. The bank was set up by Pratibha Patil in 1973 and in 2003 the RBI served the closure notice due to insolvency.
June 2007: It came to light that a sugar cooperative was shut down for defaulting with bank loans to the tune of Rs 17.3 crore. Pratibha Patil was the Chairperson and director till she became the governor of Rajasthan.
April 2007: Just over six weeks before the UPA-Left announced Pratibha Patil's name for President, the Congress-led Maharashtra government leased out 25,000 square feet of prime land in Amravati to her husband's education society and agreed to build a sports complex on it using Rs 36 lakh from Patil's MPLADS fund, she got way back in 1996 when she was a Lok Sabha MP. The MPLADs funding allocation to the Trust was against the Rule of allocation of MPLADS fund.