PM Narendra Modi (File Photo | PTI)
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “omitted” certain details about his property in his affidavits filed during previous elections and wanted the Election Commission to take “thorough cognizance” of it.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged that Modi was “hiding something” about a property in Gandhinagar.
Khera alleged that Modi, soon after becoming the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001, got a property allotted and in his election affidavit in 2007, he declared to be the “sole” owner of “plot 411” (measuring 326.22 square metres) in Sector 1, a prime property in Gandhinagar.
“Based on the market rates prevailing in Gandhinagar, this plot is presently worth about Rs 1.18 crore. Modi was the then CM of Gujarat and had also declared in his affidavit that he had spent Rs 30,363 to carry out some construction on the piece of same land,” he said.
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The Congress leader added that in all subsequent affidavits filed by Modi, he “omitted” any mention of this plot but listed “plot 401/A” of the same size and in same location, and declared himself a quarter owner. He claimed that the same plot was also listed in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s 2014 affidavit who also declared to be a quarter owner.
“He (Modi) did not show any sale of the earlier plot, although it was an allotted plot that can’t be sold or transferred. You need permission even to rent or lease it out,” Khera added.
Khera said the Election Commission should take “thorough cognizance of the seemingly deliberate omissions” in the Prime Minister’s affidavits and take appropriate action.
He said a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday on some “interesting questions” on Modi’s property.
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“It is interesting because sahib (Modi) has been hiding something about it… He keeps saying that he is a ‘fakir’ (one who owns nothing) and after May 23, he will just pack his ‘jhola’ (bag) and leave. But now we are finding out what is in his jhola,” Khera said.
Asked if it could just be a typing error, Khera said the Prime Minister should then come clean about it and clarify which plot he owned and if he was the sole owner or quarter owner of that plot.
Khera went on to add, “The plot number changes, ownership share changes while the location and the size remains the same. Affidavits say one thing and land records tell another. The BJP has been running the government in Gujarat for last 28 years. Are they saying that land records are not complete and clear in the Gujarat model?”
He said under Section 125A of the Representation of People Act 1952, falsifying an election affidavit carries an imprisonment of six months or with a fine or both.
“In the light of the above discrepancies, the Congress party demands that the Election Commission, takes thorough cognizance of the seemingly deliberate omissions in PM Modi’s affidavit and take appropriate action under the Representation of People Act,” Khera said.