State entities have been asked to appoint a senior official as a “property officer” who will gather details of the properties owned or leased by the party and the status of their property tax or rent. They have also been asked to find out details if there is a legal title dispute or interference. AICC Treasurer Pawan Bansal sent two directives to the PCCs and government officials two weeks ago, demanding immediate action.
Given that Congress pre-independence and has vast holdings from state to district and block level offices, there is concern that a large proportion of the land parcels have been illegally confiscated, some by office holders themselves or with theirs tacit consent.
With Congress facing a serious political and financial crisis since it was ousted in 2014, the idea of property consolidation also seems to have fallen victim to a lack of focus. It was first thought of in 2015, while an officer to oversee the process could only be appointed in 2020, just before the pandemic.
Given its long history, Congress is considered the greatest “landlord” in politics. Sources said amid the financial crisis, once identified, land can be tapped for monetization to fund the political activities of state entities. But to do this, the party must settle the property tax for the land it owns with the tax offices and pay rents on leased land. Sources said the party will increase legal focus on ongoing court disputes over property, and also urge state authorities to evict squatters.
Recognizing that a renewed focus on identifying and consolidating property could lead the “internal conspirators” to go about their illicit dealings, AICC Treasurer Bansal has told state officials that “no congressional property is being sold or any rights whatsoever.” should be transmitted to anyone without the permission of the Congress President.”
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