The BJP-led government, however, defended its decision with Housing Minister Prakash Mehta saying this was not for the first time that land was allotted to a cultural institution at a cheaper rate, recalling that cultural and academic bodies set up in memory of Congress leaders including YB Chavan had benefited from such a gesture.

The state government has allotted land measuring 2,000 square metres to Hema's Natyvihar Kala Kendra. According to the documents obtained under an RTI query, the veteran actress has been allotted the land located in suburban Oshiwara, at the rate of Rs 35 per square metre (total cost Rs 70,000) by the Mumbai Suburban District Collectorate. The market value of the land is estimated to be running into crores of rupees.

The plot in question is said to be originally reserved for a garden and was given to the BJP MP from Mathura for a pittance even as she keeps in possession a plot allotted to her earlier in the country's financial capital.

"The government is indulging in double standards in allocation of the plot. This government had earlier said they will formulate a fresh policy on granting government land which directly affects the state exchequer but in the case of the BJP MP, no such procedure was followed," MPCC President Ashol Chavan told reporters here.

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