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BJP Holds Press Meet Near 'Monument of Corruption' in MP, Cong Alleges Poll Code Violation

Addressing the media on road near National Herald land, Sambit Patra claimed that behind him stood 'the monument of massive corruption' and accused former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul for anomalies in the case.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:October 27, 2018, 2:43 PM IST
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BJP Holds Press Meet Near 'Monument of Corruption' in MP, Cong Alleges Poll Code Violation
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra addressing a press conference in Bhopal on Saturday
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Bhopal: High voltage political drama ensued here on Saturday as Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson Sambit Patra addressed reporters on the road near the land owned by National Herald, triggering a war of words between the BJP and Congress.

The Congress leaders said that they would complain the matter to Election Commission in Bhopal and New Delhi as a 'public meeting was against the model code of conduct'. Party spokesperson and legal cell chief JP Dhanopia marched to the spot and entered into a verbal spat with BJP workers.

"Despite the enforcement of model election code of conduct, how can BJP hold a press conference on the road. It's a clear breach of poll code and we would complaint to Election Commission," said, adding that the BJP has no permission to conduct the conference on a private land. He also clicked pictures of the event. However, countering the Congress, BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari was soon seen waving a letter of permission for the event.

Hours after BJP's high-tech media centre was inaugurated in the state capital, the party organised a press briefing at the Press Complex in busy MP Nagar area. A tent was erected for the meeting close to the plot which belongs to National Herald and houses a number of commercial establishments including a shopping mall.

Meanwhile addressing the media, Patra claimed that behind him stood 'the monument of massive corruption' (National Herald) and accused former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul for anomalies in the case.

Shedding light on the chronology of events, Patra said Associated Journal Limited (AJL), established at the times of late PM Jawaharlal Nehru, came into being for circulating newspapers –National Herald and Navjivan. The owing to losses, the company got closed down in 2008. In 2010, a company named Young India was floated with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi having 36% shares each, while the remaining shares were kept with other Congressmen, including Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandez and others, said Patra.

"YI directors who also were on board AJL and were part of Congress told AJL that the company had received unsecured loan of Rs 90 crore was not able to repay. YI then paying a meager amount of Rs 50 lakh took over AJL properties worth Rs 5,000," the BJP spokesperson alleged.

Thus, the mother-son duo "pocketed Rs 5,000 crore worth AJL property through YI as the two have majority shares in the company floated with capital investment of Rs five lakh only".

Underlining anomalies in the land allotted to NH in Bhopal, Patra claimed the one acre land which was later increased to 1.14 acre was allotted in 1981 by late Chief Minister Arjun Singh only for ‘running a newspaper’. “However later, the AJL violating the lease deed, transferred the land to private company through sale deed.”

The AJL against norms, converted the land into city center which is now with Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. After the matter coming to fore, Bhopal Development Authority cancelled land deed and issued eviction orders, he added also referring to land allotted to NH in Indore as well.

Asked whether it was a poll code violation, Patra, speaking to News18, claimed that putting forward public issue was their political dharma and everything was done with 'permissions'.

Congress spokesperson Dhanopia later claimed that he would prove the event was not permitted and the 'egoist' BJP hindered traffic and violated poll code by holding press conference at a public place.
| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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