Congress firms up attack on Raje over Dholpur Palace

RSTV Bureau

Jairam-RameshContinuing its attack on Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the Congress party has once again sought her resignation for allegedly usurping Dholpur Palace for a business interest, which according to them is a government property. The principal opposition party had on Monday opened another front to take on Vasundhara Raje in an on-going Lalit Modi controversy by claiming that Raje, her son Dushyant Singh and Lalit Modi have taken possession of the Government of Rajasthan property and converted it into a high-end private luxury hotel.

An allegation that was rejected by the BJP, which claimed that the said property is owned by Dushyant Singh after he was awarded the ownership by his father Hemant Singh in a court settlement in 2007.

But on Tuesday, Congress party showed some more documents to embolden its claims of Dholpur Palace being the property of government.

“In 2007 additional district judge of Bharatpur in a case titled – Dushyant vs Hemant Singh – ruled on a compromise between father and son. But the compromise was only concerning movable assets and not the Dholpur Palace,” senior leader Jairan Ramesh said stressing that Dholpur Palace is a government property.

Accusing Raje and her son Dushyant Singh of illegally occupying the government property and even claiming compensation after a part of Palace land was acquired for the highway project in 2010, Ramesh further added, “This is double whammy for exchequer. Firstly, state land is illegally occupied and a high-end luxury hotel is built, and secondly, the state is duped even of the compensation for the land”.

But the BJP has once again refuted with the Congress party’s allegations. The state BJP chief Ashok Parnami contended that in at least five places in the court document, it has been clearly specified that Dushyant had the ownership rights of Dholpur Palace and had the full rights to sell or lease out the movable and immovable properties in question.

Earlier on Monday, the Congress party had backed its claims by sharing the documents with the press about Dholpur Palace been declared as a government property in the past.

“Vasundhara Raje’s husband, Dushyant’s father in a statement in court in 1980 said that the Dholpur Palace wasn’t personal property, it belonged to the government. Up until 2010 Dholpur Mahal was declared government property 6 times, starting from 1954,” senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had said on Monday.

The Rajasthan CM is facing heat over the allegations of helping out controversial Lalit Modi, former boss of the popular cricket tournament IPL, in his immigration to UK on conditions of secrecy from Indian authorities. Raje is also facing allegations of “quid pro quo” in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up a cancer hospital in Jaipur between her government and the Portuguese facility where Modi’s wife was treated.

Raje’s son Dushyant Singh is also under attack over the allegations of his company receiving Rs 11.63 crore in investments from Lalit Modi in 2008. Dushyant Singh is BJP Lok Sabha MP from Rajasthan. And last week, Congress party claimed that Raje was a direct beneficiary of this investment made by Lalit Modi for she too owns nearly 3,000 shares in her son Dushyant’s firm Niyant Heritage Hotels Limited. The party had cited the copy of her 2013 election affidavit having the details of her share-holdings to embolden its claims.

(With inputs from PTI)