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A ‘corrupt’ Guv whom Cong backed

A ‘corrupt’ Guv whom Cong backed
Highlights

Kamla Beniwal\'s alleged claim that she tilled land for nearly 16 hours for five decades, while pursuing a high profile political career, is reportedly the main reason behind her sacking as Mizoram governor on Wednesday.

Kamla BeniwalJaipur: Kamla Beniwal's alleged claim that she tilled land for nearly 16 hours for five decades, while pursuing a high profile political career, is reportedly the main reason behind her sacking as Mizoram governor on Wednesday.

Sources say President Pranab Mukherjee signed off on the government's decision to remove Ms Beniwal saying in a hand-written response that he was "satisfied" with the evidence against her.

Ms Beniwal, 87, could face criminal charges after a lawyer's petition filed at a Jaipur court.

The petition says she submitted a false affidavit to get land worth crores in her hometown Jaipur, at concessional rates offered to farmers.

A report of the district collector on the alleged fraud was reportedly sent to the central government in April, just before the BJP wrested power from the Congress-led UPA. Ms Beniwal had allegedly declared that she performed "14 to 16 hours of hard manual labour for five decades" on a piece of land given by the government in 1953 to a farmers' cooperative.

The land was reacquired by the government in 2000 and as compensation, 209 plots were offered at a concessional rate to the cooperative.

In a petition, lawyer AK Jain has alleged that Ms Beniwal lied about being a member of the cooperative since 1953; she joined it only in 1971.

The lawyer also says she could not possibly have tilled the soil like an ordinary farmer when had posts like minister, deputy chief minister and governor in those years.

In the government's three-charge dossier, Ms Beniwal has also been accused of spending just one day in Mizoram - where she was posted a month ago - and frequent travel in state aircraft in Gujarat, where she was governor till July.

The Congress says there is no charge-sheet or conviction on any of the charges against Ms Beniwal. It alleges that she was "punished" for challenging Modi in Gujarat, the state he ruled for 13 years before taking charge as Prime Minister in May.

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