New Delhi: BJP MP Arvind Sharma has scaled up his attack on Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, accusing the latter of trying to ‘divide’ Brahmins and see ‘tamasha’ (entertainment) over the lease of land to an organisation of Brahmins in the state.
At a public event in Pahrawar village on 23 May, Sharma, the four-time MP from Rohtak, hit out at the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana for cancelling the lease of about 15 acres of land in Pahrawar to the Gaur Brahman Vidya Pracharini Sabha.
According to Sharma, 123 kanal (a unit of land measurement) of land was leased out to a Brahmin association in 2009 by the then Congress government in Haryana under former CM Bhupinder Hooda. The land was to have been used for the building of a college, school, hospital and temple.
However when Khattar’s government came to power in 2014, the Sabha was dissolved and an administrator appointed to oversee the land.
According to the Rohtak Municipal Corporation officials, however, it was delay in the beginning of construction work on the land and failure by the Sabha to fulfill other conditions of the lease which led to its cancellation.
“The tenure of Gaur Brahman Vidya Pracharini Sabha ended on 6 February, 2011 and the land lease stands cancelled automatically,” a civic body spokesperson has been quoted as saying in the media.
Speaking at the Pahrawar event earlier this week — attended by a few thousand farsa (axe)-wielding Brahmins — Sharma had not only raised the issue of land allotment, but also said the state needed a Brahmin chief minister. Insisting that dominant caste community was waiting their turn to have a CM to lead the state, the MP had said no community should be ignored.
The senior BJP leader had also alleged that the CM was not using his own counsel in the matter of land for the Brahmin community.
Iterating the same in a conversation with ThePrint Wednesday, Sharma alleged that the CM was not releasing the land on the advice of former state cooperative minister Manish Grover and claimed that Grover was considered to be Khattar’s “right and left-hand man, to whom Khattar listened on everything”.
“Agar dimaag lagate toh land waapis de dete. (If Khattar used his brain would return the land) At least start an enquiry and justify why the land is not with the Gaur Brahmin Society currently”, said Sharma.
ThePrint reached Grover on phone and text message, but did not receive a response till the publication of this report.
ThePrint also reached the CM email and contacted Khattar’s media advisor on WhatsApp and over phone, but received no response till the publication of this story.
Sources in the chief minister’s office said meanwhile that Khattar was not speaking about or responding to any of the accusations leveled by Sharma because he did not want to get involved in any controversy.
The issue of land for the Gaur Brahmin Society has also been raise by the Congress.
“Our Cabinet had taken a decision after following the due process of law. The Congress government had given land on lease to the institution for 33+33+33 years at a nominal rate. Even today, the institution has a right on the land. If the BJP-JJP (Jannayak Janta Party) government decides to change this decision, the Congress will strongly oppose it”, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had said at a press conference in Rohtak last week.
‘Can return land in 2 hours if he wants’
According to Sharma he had been demanding that the land be returned to the Gaur Brahmin Society from the beginning.
Expressing hurt that despite him reaching out to the chief minister multiple times, no action has been taken in the case yet, Sharma said, “A four-time member of parliament is trying to talk to you and you are still not listening. Maybe he is worried his position will shift or power will change. I don’t know his intentions behind not giving the land allotted.”
Sharma added: “His (Khattar’s) intentions don’t seem right. The government just wants to divide Brahmins and see the tamasha (enjoy the show). They forget that even they (Brahmins) are part of the party’s vote bank.”
Alleging that many in the party were unhappy with his election victory, the BJP MP said he’ll now take up the issue of land for the Gaur Brahmins with the party’s senior leadership.
“If the government wants, it can return the land without any hitch within two-hours. A letter can be sent and the land returned. However till now the CM has done no such thing. There is no legal compulsion binding him from giving the land back,” Sharma told ThePrint.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)
Also read: Haryana CM Khattar exposes Modi-Shah’s biggest flaw — as talent-hunters