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NCP seeks Lokayukta probe into Maha minister’s land dealings

The NCP demanded a probe by the Maharashtra Lokayukta against Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal into “irregularities” in his “land dealings” in Dhule and Nandurbar districts.

NCP spokesman Nawab Malik met with Lokayukta justice (retd) M L Tahiliani and submitted documents to back his charge.

“We demand a probe into the irregularities. We submitted documents to the Lokayukta on Wednesday,” Malik told reporters.

The BJP minister is battling allegations of dubious land deals in Dhule district following the suicide committed by 84-year-old farmer Dharma Patil over inadequate compensation for his land, which had been acquired by the state government for a solar project.

Patil had consumed a poisonous substance at the Mantralaya here on January 22 after a scheduled meeting between him and state Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule was cancelled at the last moment.

Patil died while undergoing treatment at J J Hospital on January 28 night.

Malik had alleged that the meeting was cancelled at the behest of Rawal, the guardian minister of Dhule district.

He also alleged that Rawal and his family members had bought lands in advance from farmers at lower rates in Dhule district ahead of their acquisition by the state government for higher compensation.

Rawal, who represents the Sindkheda constituency in the north Maharashtra district, of which the deceased farmer was also a resident, had denied the charge.

The minister on Tuesday threatened to file a defamation suit against Malik while dismissing the latters charges as “baseless”.

Malik had alleged that Rawal, as an MLA, had purchased a piece of land in Dhule district in 2012 even after the same land had been notified for acquisition for a thermal power project by the state government in 2009. The government later scrapped the multi-crore thermal project and instead proposed a solar power project.

BJP MLA Anil Gote had said the land grab “scam” runs into Rs 135 crore.

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