New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation led by party president Nitin Gadkari met President Pratibha Devisingh Patil Wednesday and demanded the removal of Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal for her alleged involvement in a graft case.
The delegation had spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman, MPs Balbir Punj, Bhupendra Yadav and Arjun Meghwal and party secretary Kirit Somaiya, along with some other party leaders from Gujarat. However, senior party leaders like L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley stayed away.
The delegation submitted a memorandum to the president also urging her to question the Rajasthan government on its inaction on the issue.
The BJP has alleged a land scam worth Rs.1,000 crore and accused the Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot government of ‘gifting’ developed land in Jaipur to a few Congress leaders, in which Beniwal is said to be involved. Beniwal a native of Rajasthan, has been a minister in several Congress governments in the state.
The scam had come to light following an order passed by the registrar of cooperative societies in Jaipur.
‘The order has exposed some highly influential persons who grabbed Rs.1,000 crore worth of government land in Rajasthan through fraudulent means. Unfortunately, those named in the order include the Gujarat Governor Dr. Kamla Beniwal,’ the BJP memorandum said.
‘A criminal case cannot be registered against Beniwal by the Rajasthan government as long as she is a governor. The BJP has appealed to the President to withdraw her pleasure and direct Kamla Beniwal to step down as Gujarat governor pending thorough investigations into the entire land grab scandal,’ Gadkari told reporters after meeting the president.
‘People are expecting a satisfactory response from Kamla Beniwal. But she is maintaining a studied silence. The Rajasthan government too is refusing to take any serious cognisance of the scandal,’ Gadkari added.
Asked about the president’s response, Gadkari said she had assured the the delegation that she will ‘look in the matter’.
BJP’s Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had earlier been at loggerheads with Beniwal when she unilaterally appointed a Lokayukta (state ombudsman) without consulting the state government.