'Conspiracy by BJP' Congress cries vendetta politics over eye hospital construction in Haryana's Ulhawas

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'Conspiracy by BJP' Congress cries vendetta politics over eye hospital construction in Haryana's Ulhawas

The five acres of panchayat land in Ulhawas village was allotted to the trust during Hooda's tenure in 2009. The construction period of the hospital was three years - till 2012.

A decision by the Haryana's BJP government to deny occupation certificate to a proposed eye hospital of the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT), in which Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi hold key positions emerged as a political flashpoint on Saturday.

The Opposition party hit back, crying conspiracy and witch-hunt.

Officials say the town and country planning department has withheld the certificate because of delay in construction of the medical institute in Gurugram. The Congress termed the act vengeful and ascribed political motives to it. "This is political witchhunt by the BJP. Rather than looking at its own corruption cases, the party in power is spiking a project that is for the welfare of people, essentially the rural population," said an aide of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The five acres of panchayat land in Ulhawas village was allotted to the trust during Hooda's tenure in 2009. The construction period of the hospital was three years - till 2012.

A TPCD official told Mail Today that the project has been under construction for more than five years and so it has been decided to decline approval of occupation certificate. The Manohar Lal government told the state Assembly two years ago that the circumstances under which the land in Ulhawas village was allotted would be fully investigated.

WHY THE CERTIFICATE HAS BEEN WITHHELD?

The official spokesperson of Haryana government also confirmed the development. "The trust has failed to complete the project in the given three-year period and so the occupation certificate was disapproved by the department. The move of TCPD is under law and equal for all," he said.

The plot was allotted in December 2009 on a 31-year lease at Rs 3 lakh per acre with a 5 per cent annual increase.

For the last six years, the panchayat has been getting Rs 15 lakh every year and will keep getting it until the lease runs out. Satish Nagar, former sarpanch of Ulhawas village, claimed the then Hooda government acquired the land and allotted it to the trust against the wishes of villagers.

"Since the move was against villagers, six of them knocked on the doors of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and urged its intervention. They were forced to withdraw their petitions, leading to a stir in the village," Nagar said. The villagers at the time organised a protest against the move and were even supported by current Union Home minister Rajnath Singh. "I don't know what was the political compulsion of Hooda to acquire five acres of land and allot it to the trust. The land was proposed for the development of a stadium and school to provide quality sports and education facilities to the younger generation. The Hooda government had done an injustice to locals and the TPCD move has given villagers something to cheer about," Nagar said. The construction of a three-storey hospital building on the land is currently underway. Over 25-30 per cent of the work still remains.

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