In an eye-for-an-eye style retort, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took on former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over her allegations of the Rajasthan government providing undue benefits to industrialist Robert Vadra and to Mr. Gehlot's son Vaibhav.
In keeping with the current flavour of Rajasthan politics, he instead accused Ms. Raje of concealing information regarding the whereabouts of former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi from authorities and of making dubious land deals along the Indo-Pakistan border.
Speaking in Jhalawar, Ms. Raje's home district and political bastion on Wednesday during the fifth phase of the Congress Sandesh Yatra, Mr. Gehlot said his government had nothing to do with the land deals made by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of AICC president Sonia Gandhi.
“If Mr. Vadra purchased land in Barmer, what does the State government have to do with it. Any Indian citizen can buy land anywhere in the country on his own accord,” said Mr. Gehlot.
During the third phase of her ongoing Suraj Sankalp Yatra, Ms. Raje had accused Mr Gehlot of providing undue favours to Mr. Vadra.
She had also accused Mr. Gehlot of “buying a hotel for his son” Vaibhav and granting him contracts worth crores in the Kalisindh Dam project.
“If my son had crores, would he still be working in a private firm for a monthly salary of Rs.30,000?”asked Mr. Gehlot.
“The truth is that the opposition does not have any real counter to the works done by our government so they have gone berserk and are levelling frivolous allegations,” he said.
Taking on Ms. Raje, Mr. Gehlot accused the previous BJP regime of being an “expert in dubious land deals”.
“They sold off heritage havelis of Amber which we had to recover. They even sold off land along the Indo-Pakistan border,” he said.
“She knew of the whereabouts of the fugitive Lalit Modi, against whom the ED has issued a Red Corner Notice, but did not cooperate with the authorities. If we talk about her properties in London, she gets angry,” said Mr. Gehlot, alleging that several important decisions during her government were taken by Lalit Modi from his Rambagh Palace hotel room.