3 years

LAND GRAB

Marx to Market Accounting

Jatin Gandhi has covered politics and policy for over a decade now for print, TV and the web. He is Deputy Political Editor at Open.
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Properties owned by our political leaders seem to be amazing bargains, going by prices quoted in their asset declarations. So why not make use of them for the larger public good? Rahul Gandhi has valued his 4.6 acre Mehrauli farmhouse at just under Rs 10 lakh. The land, though, is large enough to house a 200-bed, multi-storey, multi-specialty hospital or even a grand IT college. This would also be in tune with his vision for young India. Even Sonia could make space for a well-equipped school on her 12-bigha agricultural plot in Sultanpur. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan is, after all, a flagship programme of the UPA she chairs. She’d declared this land to be worth about Rs 2 lakh. Surely, they shouldn’t have any hesitation in parting with these assets for the greater good. MP royal Jyotiraditya Scindia can also pitch in with his nearly 500 sq ft office in the heart of Delhi, on KG Marg. It will cost the government just under Rs 50 lakh. Put on rent, it will pay for itself in three years. Of course, BJP leaders will not want to be left out. LK Advani’s Gandhinagar house and party president Rajnath Singh’s building in Lucknow together cost almost Rs 1 crore. Perhaps, a Truth Commission can set up office in these houses to look into Advani’s favoured issue of black money.