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'It was Modi Raj during Raje days'

Adding a new political colour to IPL canvas, which already has NCP hues, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot dragged BJP general secretary Vasundhara Raje in the IPL controversy.

, ET Bureau|
Apr 24, 2010, 02.46 AM IST
JAIPUR: Adding a new political colour to IPL canvas, which already has NCP hues, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot dragged BJP general secretary Vasundhara Raje in the IPL controversy. He alleged that IPL chief Lalit Modi, backed by former chief minister, siphoned off money from several land scams in Rajasthan.

“People suspect that money drawn from Rajasthan is involved in IPL tournament. Mr Modi has funded the IPL through money extracted from shady land deals and other corrupt practices in the state during Raje regime. Leading a public life, she should come forward and explain her stand to the people,” Mr Gehlot said.

He said that Ms Raje should admit her mistake, if she thinks she has committed one. “Any one can commit mistake, intentionally or unintentionally; out of selfishness or ignorance. If there is a mistake, she should admit that. Why she is keeping silent?

She should come out in public interest and let them know about the investment in IPL tournament. She should tell them about the game that Mr Modi played. His (Mr Modi’s) deeds are under the scanner of I-T department, Enforcement Directorate, and now all eyes are on his wrongdoings. The truth should come out,” he said.

Pointing finger at the Raje-Modi alliance, he alleged that Ms Raje was hand-in-glove with Mr Modi. Ministers, politicians and bureaucrats had to wait outside Mr Modi’s hotel room for project clearances during Ms Raje tenure.

They had to give full account of their black money to Mr Modi. It cannot happen without tacit support of the chief minister,” Mr Gehlot said. He alleged that the former chief minister made Lalit Kumar Modi, Lalit Modi — the world knows.

“Before coming to Rajasthan, people didn’t know about Mr Modi. Vasundhara Raje launched him from Nagaur, made him cricket administrator of Rajasthan by twisting rules. For the first time in the history of the state, Sports Act was passed in the assembly, just to facilitate a person,” he said.

Accusing Ms Raje of turning a blind eye to the misdeeds of Mr Modi, Mr Gehlot said that the former chief minister never bothered to control Mr Modi from exhorting bureaucrats and ministers. “Media continuously pointed out the autocracy of Mr Modi. Minister and bureaucrats were harassed publicly. But she (Ms Raje) never tried to draw a line for Mr Modi,” he said. Referring to the government-constituted Mathur Commission, Mr Gehlot said that truth would have been unearthed had this commission been allowed to go ahead with its work.

“The court appreciated our step to constitute the commission. But the court opined that a lot of money would be wasted in this exercise. The committee will send its report to the government. Government will again set up another committee. It was of no worth. But as a responsible public figure former chief minister should apprise the public about how Rajasthan was looted in her regime? How black money was accumulated through organised land scams? Rajasthan wants an answer,” he said.

Ms Raje, terming allegations made by Mr Gehlot as baseless, said: "Ashok Gehlot has brought against me allegations in the same manner as he had done repeatedly in the past. Gehlot set up a probe committee (Mathur Commission) but not a single allegation could be proved. He can now get a probe by any agency conducted into the IPL matter", Ms Raje said.
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