- BJP leaders involved in Ayodhya land scam. – Priyanka Gandhi
- Dalits land were not purchased but were grabbed.
- Gandhi is demanding a Supreme Court probe into the alleged land deals.
New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday lashed out at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and government officials after reports emerged of them allegedly “usurping” land near the upcoming Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Conducting a press conference, the Congress general secretary said that an impartial inquiry needs to be conducted into the allegations and if proven true, it would mean that the state’s ruling party has been “looting” and “toying with” the devotions of countless people in the country who donated something or the other for the Ram Mandir Trust.
“Almost every household in the country has donated something to Ram Mandir Trust,” said Priyanka Gandhi while addressing reporters in New Delhi. “A door-to-door campaign was held too. It is a matter of devotion and that is being toyed with. The pieces of land of Dalits, which could not have been purchased, were grabbed.” She alleged that there were a few pieces of land that were of a much lower value than what they were sold to the trust at. “It means that there exists a scam regarding the money which was collected through the donation,” Gandhi claimed.
Taking note of the fact that the Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a probe into the ‘land grab’ reports, the Congress leader said that the Yogi Adityanath administration cannot be conducting the inquiry since the interests of BJP functionaries and senior government officials are allegedly involved. “Yes, the UP government is appointing an inquiry commission to probe the allegations, who will be the ones conducting the investigation? These are officials at the district collector-level,” Gandhi said, demanding instead an “unbiased” inquiry headed by the Supreme Court. Congress leaders have been attacking the government on the matter, with Rahul Gandhi charging that “Hindutva robs under the guise of religion”. Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala termed it a “land scam”, charging there is an “open loot of land inside Ayodhya city by people connected to the BJP”.