Education Minister Dipu Moni denied allegations about her relatives' involvement in the corruption surrounding the land acquisition process for the proposed Chandpur science and technology university.
"No land that belongs to me or my family was among the areas acquired for the university," said the minister in reaction to the allegations on Thursday.
"We did own some land there before, but it was sold a long time ago,'' she added.
Dipu Moni, however, also said that her brother had bought some lands to make a hospital and a rehabilitation centre, but sold those when the university was approved.
Terming the allegations false, fabricated and ill-motivated, the education minister said that she sensed a conspiracy.
Saying she will bring up the graft allegations levelled at her by some Awami League leaders in the next party meeting, Dipu Moni said she had already informed the high-ups of the party about the section of leaders who had been conspiring against her.
"I also have a plan to take legal action against the newspaper which printed the news," she said.
According to media reports, a group of influential people bought nearly 62.5 acres of land chosen for the proposed university at 20 times more than the actual price.
Media reports alleged that the education minister and her close relatives were involved in the land acquisition process and were set to pocket Tk359 crore from the government.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2018 had pledged to set up a science and technology university in 2018.
On 9 September 2020, the Chandpur Science and Technology University bill was passed in the Jatiya Sangsad.
Later, the education ministry gave administrative approval for the land acquisition and the site was selected after the ministry's permission.
On 4 May 2021, the district land acquisition committee decided to acquire the needed land.
In 2019, per decimal of land in the area selected for the university was only Tk24,000, but it jumped to over Tk4 lakh in 2021. Even the land adjacent to the university site now costs around Tk1 lakh per decimal.