OTHER STATES

Gehlot against shifting of State-level functions

Special Correspondent

Raje Govt. used to shift Republic Day and Independence Day functions to divisional headquarter towns

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has hinted at discontinuing with the practice of rotating the State-level functions on the Republic Day and the Independence Day in the divisional headquarter towns.

The previous Bharatiya Janata Party Government in the State, headed by Vasundhara Raje in the name of creating a sense of participation of the people of these areas had started the practice of the whole Government moving out of the Capital for a few days around January 26 and August 15.

“This kind of change of venue takes away the sanctity of such occasions. Can anyone think of shifting out the Republic Day parade and the Prime Minister’s address from the Red Fort on August 15?” Mr. Gehlot asked interacting with newspersons at a lunch hosted for the media by Pradesh Congress Committee president C.P. Joshi here on Saturday.

‘No revenge’

When the scribes hinted that the previous Government had shifted the venue from Jaipur in order to leave the Sawai Man Singh stadium, the venue for such functions, undisturbed to please a businessman and functionary of board of cricket control, Mr. Gehlot said his Government would not act to take revenge on anyone.

“My feeling is that it would be graceful to have these functions in the State capital. However as the decision to rotate the functions was taken by the previous Cabinet, a decision going back to the old practice too would be taken by the Cabinet only,” Mr. Gehlot said.

The Chief Minister also chose to explain that some of the communities -- more specifically the Gujjars -- left out in the ministry making exercise he carried out on the previous day would get representation when the Cabinet is expanded after the brief Assembly session in January. In fact a Cabinet Minister from the Gujjar community -- Jitendra Singh --could not be inducted as he had chosen to wait for the end of the “mal mas”(a time period considered to be inauspicious for new beginnings), Mr. Gehlot noted.