Mayawati does not own an inch of land, claims official

June 18th, 2008 - 1:42 am ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, June 17 (IANS) In an apparent rebuttal to accusations by the opposition about her large scale acquisitions, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Tuesday directed her top officials to declare that she does not own any land. Without making any pointed reference to the allegations of state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who had earlier charged the chief minister of amassing wealth and property, Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told a press conference, “the UP chief minister does not own an inch of land anywhere”.

He claimed, “as far as her properties were concerned, she was among the few people in public life who had voluntarily declared all her assets.”

When a scribe sought to draw his attention to the properties registered in the name of Mayawati’s close kin, Singh shot back, “Well, she had repeatedly made it loud and clear to all and sundry that she had already relinquished all bonds with her family, so she could not be associated with any land owned by them.”

The state cabinet secretary also vehemently denied allegations about “forcible” acquisition of agricultural land for the ambitious 100-km Ganga Expressway project. “Under the revised lad acquisition policy, the very question of any forcible acquisition was completely ruled out.”

He said, “Any agricultural land can now be acquired only as per a mutual agreement arrived at between an infrastructure builder and the farmer. The district magistrate is however authorised to play the role of a facilitator in the negotiations.”

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