The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Call to probe Centaur deal

New Delhi, Dec. 3: Taking a cue from the Shiv Sena’s opposition to the sale of the Centaur Hotel in Mumbai, the Opposition today demanded a CBI probe into the disinvestment deal.

The matter was raised during question hour by the Sena’s Chandrakant Khaire. The MP asked how Batra, which had bought the hotel for Rs 85 crore, sold it to Sahara within four months for Rs 200 crore and why the profit did not go to the government.

As the Sena leader sought details on the sale of the hotel to Sahara, Opposition members, led by Congress chief whip Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, supported Khaire and demanded a CBI probe into the deal.

The Opposition kept protesting even as disinvestment minister Arun Shourie sought to pass the buck by pointing out that the matter related to the civil aviation ministry.

The chair requested members to behave in an orderly manner but failed to pacify them. As a result, the answer to Khaire’s question remained incomplete as the House took up zero hour.

Khaire also suggested that government make a rule that hotels bought by anyone from the government should not be sold for at least 10 years.

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