Hema Malini dismisses ‘land-grabbing’ charge

Mumbai, Feb 1 (IANS) BJP Lok Sabha member and former Bollywood star Hema Malini, who is currently at the centre of a row over the allotment of a plot for her dance academy, on Monday denied allegations of indulging in “land-grabbing”.

Breaking her silence before media persons, Hema Malini said there was “no question of land-grabbing” and all rules and regulations were followed in the allotment made by the Maharashtra government in December 2015.

“I have struggled for 20 years for this plot. It’s my right. In the past, all were willing to give me the land, but there were some or other issues and it did not materialise,” she said.

The prime plot measuring around 2,000 square metres was allotted to the Natyavihar Kala Kendra Charitable Trust for her proposed dance academy and a cultural hub, besides developing a public garden.

Last week, RTI activist Anil Galgali, referring to official documents had claimed that the BJP MP from Mathura was given the plot worth crores of rupees for merely Rs.70,000.

On Galgali’s charges, Hema Malini clarified: “I don’t even know how much I have to pay. I have not made any payments so far. But I’ll pay according to law. The piece of land is yet to come to me.”

She dismissed contentions of political benevolence and said she was an artiste and the land would help achieve her dream project.

“I have struggled a lot for it, running pillar to post for 20 years. It’s not been easy. The government has given it to me, I have not gone and grabbed it,” she declared.

Following the RTI revelations, opposition parties including the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party demanded a probe into the land allotment as well as its cancellation.

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