New Delhi: The Congress on Monday urged the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of an alleged “land scam” in Ayodhya and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi break his “silence” on the issue.
The Congress’ attack came after the Ayodhya Development Authority accused 40 people, including the City mayor, a local BJP MLA and a former party legislator, of illegally trading plots and building infrastructure there.
Tagging a related news report, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet in Hindi, “BJP scam in the name of Maryada Purushottam Lord Ram. Why is Home Minister Amit Shah silent on this?”
Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate alleged a “huge property scam” is happening in Ayodhya.
“We have been saying this since June 2021 when things came to light on how the land scam is happening in Ayodhya but now the Ayodhya development authority has put out a list of 40 people who have been involved in a land scam in the building of the Ram temple and prominent among those are the Ayodhya’s BJP MLA Ved Prakash Gupta BJP mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay, former BJP MLA Gorakhnath Baba and multiple officers in the UP government whose relatives have bought land,” Shrinate said.
She said people donated out of faith, but when their money is “played around” it is like “stealing from that donation”. “Why are BJP leaders acquiring more land at low cost and then selling it at steeply high prices to the temple trust with the cognisance of temple trust members,” she asked.
“The only probe that is happening into the land scam is at the district magistrate-level. How can the DM probe the MLA, the ex-MLA, the ministers in the UP government,” he said.
Shrinate questioned the “silence” of Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah on the matter. “Why is Mr Modi and Amit Shah conspicuously silent. Why are they not breaking their silence especially when it has come to light that members of your party are involved in a land scam in a place like Ayodhya which is seeing the building of Ram temple,” she said.
“The Congress expects Prime Minister Modi to break his silence and urges the Supreme Court, under whose instruction the Ram temple trust was set up, to take suo motu cognizance of the matter and to act against these people,” she said.
Mayor Upadhyay and MLA Gupta have, however, claimed innocence and alleged foul play in the list of alleged offenders released by the authority. Prior to the assembly elections held earlier this year, rival parties in the state had raised the issue of alleged illegal purchase and sale of land in Ayodhya.
Local MP Lallu Singh had written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath demanding a probe by a Special Investigation Team.