Shanta’s Vivekananda trust to come under vigilance scanner: Sudhir Sharma

Dharamshala: Heat of the hard contested election has caught up with senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar’s Vivekananda Trust that runs a medical institution at Palampur.

Shanta Kumar’s Vivekananda Trust, Palampur
Shanta Kumar’s Vivekananda Trust, Palampur

Interacting with the media, urban development minister Sudhir Sharma yesterday said:

working of Shanta Kumar headed Vivekananda Memorial Trust (VMRT) would be inquired into and should there be any irregularities, the culprits would be booked.

The minister was responding to a media question, about the issue that where the government had made out a case and filed charges in the Anurag Thakur headed HP Cricket Association having resorted to change in land usage and converting a society into a company for personal benefits, while similar violations made by the trust headed by Shanta Kumar in VMRT were being overlooked.

Sudhir Sharma earlier in the day retorted with,

Working of Shanta Kumar’s trust would be inquired by the vigilance department. Nobody shall be spared if he breaks the law.

Referring to the Vivekananda Medical College and Research Trust (VMRT) of Palampur Sudhir Sharma said,

Any project floated in the name of public benefit, would not be allowed to run as a private or family enterprises.

Alleged irregularities in establishing the VMRT project and its conversion to benefit  BJP’s candidate from Kangra seat Shanta Kumar and his family has also been raised by AAP candidate Dr. Rajan Shushant.

Shushant is a former BJP leader who in the 1998-2004 Prem Kumar Dhumal led BJP-HVC coalition government was the revenue minister of the state.

Shushant let media know that around 419 kanal of Government land was given to Vivekananda Trust on 30-4-92 under pressure from Shanta Kumar a former chief minister of Himachal. What’s more the land which was a tea garden could not be given to any trust under the law, the AAP candidate had claimed at a media conference call.

Shushant had further alleged that the land with a market value of Rs 200 crore was given on a  token amount of just Re 1/- without even bothering to ask CSIR Palampur, a  government body, who were the owner at the time.

It was also alleged that initially the trust comprised of retired senior Government officers bit later was converted by Shanta Kumar to a family fiefdom and adjusted himself and other relatives on the board.

Sudhir Sharma said that it was a similar case of land misuse as that of HPCA and would be dealt accordingly.

However, he added that the HPCA matter formed part of Congress charge sheet that was handed to the then Governor when Dhumal was the chief minister of Himachal.

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