Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel's daughter allotted prime public real estate: ET

Anandi Patel (File photo)
A company run by business associates of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s daughter owns 400 acres – 250 acres of which was allotted to the company at an official rate of Rs 15 per square metre – of land near the Gir lion sanctuary in the state, The Economic Times reported on Friday.

According to the report, filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) show a number of transactions, which started when the Gujarat government allotted 250 acres of public land in 2010-11 to Wildwoods Resorts and Realties, between Anandiben’s daughter Anar Jayesh Patel and the promoters of Wildwoods.

Anandiben was the state’s revenue minister at the time of the allocation. The revenue department is the nodal authority for such land allotments. Additionally, Anandiben has retained the revenue portfolio even as she serves as the chief minister of the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state at the time.

According to reports, Anandiben is already facing flak over her children’s alleged interference in governance and decision making

Wildwoods' promoters, Dakshesh Shah and Amol Shripal Sheth, were approached by ET regarding the matter. According to the report, questions were also sent to Anandiben and Anar. While the state government has not responded to any queries on the matter, Anar Patel, Shah and Sheth insisted that all transactions were above board.

The report says that the state government did not provide an answer to whether allotting such large parcels of land to for-profit private enterprises was “common official policy”, especially when the concerned enterprise “did not have a track record of setting up large-scale facilities”.

Responding to ET’s questions, Anar Patel said that Dakshesh Shah is one of her business partners and that they are joint-promoters in Relish Pharmaceuticals. According to the report, Shah has a 50% stake in Anar Patel's company, Anar Projects. Additionally, Shah's firm Parshva Texchem, which co-owns Wildwoods, is also a substantial shareholder in Anar Patel's Relish Pharmaceuticals. Shah and Anar Patel also serve as directors in Relish Pharma, 24x7 Fitness and Anar Projects.

“Documents filed with the Registrar of Companies show a host of transactions between companies that received the government's land allotment as well as other companies run by Shah and Sheth and companies where Anar has significant stake,” the report said.

According to the same report, Shah claimed that Wildwoods has had no financial dealings with any firm associated with Anar Patel. However, the report reveals that according to RoC filings there have been a number of such transactions.  

The alleged involvement of Anandiben Patel’s children Anar and Shwetank in matters of governance has become a matter of concern, The Hindu had reported on Wedensday.

According to the report, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Anandiben to “dispel the perception” and “rectify her image”.

“Not only in Gujarat, even in Delhi it has become a point of discussion regarding her children's involvement in the governance process,” a source close to Anandiben and the PM told The Hindu. “The way, the perception has been built and spread, it’s a matter of great concern and prime Minister and others have conveyed to her to rectify and improve the image,” the source was quoted as saying.

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