Shimla: The Congress in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday demanded an inquiry into alleged purchase of tea plantation land by a trust linked to activist Arvind Kejriwal's associate Prashant Bhushan in Palampur area of the state.

"We want an independent inquiry into the land transferred to Prashant Bhushan in 2010 and want the government to explain that how this land was transferred to him," senior party leader and former minister Harsh Mahajan said.

Mahajan asked Bhushan, a Supreme Court lawyer, to clarify the motive behind buying the land in the state and asked the state government under what circumstances it has allowed the land deal.

According to a government functionary, Bhushan's Kumud Bhushan Educational Society was allowed to buy 4.68 hectares of land for the construction of an educational institution on Feb 2, 2010.

The Revenue Minister Gulab Singh, in reply to a question had told the state Assembly in the last winter session that "from Jan 1, 2008 to Nov 30, 2011, land use change" had been allowed under Section 118 of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act to allow Kumud Bhushan Educational Society of Kandbari (in Kangra district) for purchasing tea gardens.

The HPCC chief and five times chief minister V B Singh alleged, "There is a violation of the norms on change of land use in converting the tea state land into construction of school building and needed a probe". Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said in Delhi that if the Congress comes forward with a complaint, the state would not hesitate to institute a probe into the land deal.

"There should be a formal complaint before us. If the Congress comes forward with a complaint, we would institute a probe into the land deal," he said.


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