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Maharashtra govt faces criticism over Hema Malini getting plot at cheaper rate

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Mumbai: The allotment of a prime plot worth crores of rupees at a throwaway price to BJP MP Hema Malini has stoked a row with the opposition Congress and NCP on Friday accusing the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance of adopting ‘dual standards’.

MP and state Congress President Ashok Chavan criticised the allotment to the former Bollywood ‘dream girl’ Hema Malini, an MP from Mathura.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says one thing but does something else — this is double standards,

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state spokesperson Nawab Malik also questioned what he termed as “an improper decision on the part of the government”.

They are claiming it to be a case of re-allotment. How can there be re-allotment on an open plot which is reserved for a garden or playground?” Malik said, demanding that the allotment should be cancelled forthwith.

Chavan pointed out that the government had promised to draft a new policy on the issue of allotting government plots, which directly affect the state exchequer.

But, in the case of their party MP the process laid down has been by-passed,

Malik said the government is going back on its own policy of taking back reserved plots allotted to various groups or organisations earlier, but now it has gone ahead and given a prime piece of open land reserved for a garden to Hema Malini.

However, Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse (BJP), who had sanctioned the allotment last month, said in Pune that the plot given to Hema was only after following rules and regulations.

There is nothing irregular about the allotment and all rules have been followed,” Khadse told media-persons about the 2000-sq.mt. land in Andheri west.

The matter was exposed after an RTI activist Anil Galgali secured documents pertaining to the allotment to Hema Malini from the Mumbai Suburban District Collector.

According to the RTI documents, not only did Hema Malini get the new plot worth several crores of rupees for a paltry Rs.70,000, but this is the second time she has been allotted a prime plot in the fashionable western suburbs.

Earlier, in 1997 the (then) Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government had given her a plot of land, but she could not develop it due to CRZ issues, and the plot remains in her possession — which is against the norms, Galgali said.

In April 1997, she got the plot for Rs.10 lakhs but since it fell partly under CRZ, she never developed it, nor she raised 25 percent of the project cost yet continues to retain that plot, he pointed out.

In the new allotment, the Hema Malini Dance Academy’s cultural complex project is expected to cost around Rs.18.49 crore for which she is yet to submit proof of 25 percent funds availability and resources to raise the balance 75 percent.

(Inputs from IANS)

(Picture Courtesy: www.thehindu.com)

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)