'Powerful' minister gets prime land for peanuts

Owner lodges complaint with UP Lokayukta

Uttar Pradesh power minister Ramveer Upadhya may not have been able to solve the acute power crisis in the state where the villages get electricity for barely five-six hours a day, but he has certainly used his ‘power’ to do other things.

Upadhya allegedly coerced a man in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district, about 400 kilometers from here, to sell  prime land worth crore for a few lakh rupees, to his brother’s wife.

The terrified seller has alleged that he has been threatened to transfer ownership of another plot of land. He feared threat to his life from the minister’s goons.

The seller, in a complaint to the state Lokayukta, said the relatives of the minister pressurised the district authorities to change the land use from residential to agriculture and then forced him to sell the land.

“The market price of the land is Rs 3 crore but I was forced to sell it off for Rs 15 lakh to the wife of the minister’s brother,” he said in his complaint. 

The adjoining land was also under forced possession of the minister’s relatives, he alleged. He further added that he was being pressurised to sell another plot of land in the same manner. He had lodged a complaint with the district magistrate but no action was taken by him, he said.

Verbal duel
Upadhya, a senior minister in the Mayawati Cabinet was involved in a verbal duel with the Lokayukta earlier after another complaint was lodged against him.

While addressing a meeting of party workers he had said he would have taught the Lokayukta a lesson had he not been his friend. The Lokayukta had sent a notice to him on a complaint.

Over a dozen UP minister had been sacked by chief minister Mayawati after their indictment by the Lokayukta on charges like grabbing government land, indulging in corruption and misusing authority.

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