Congress party has opened another front to attack the incumbent BJP in an on-going Lalit Modi controversy. Demanding resignation from Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the principal opposition party escalated its stand-off alleging CM Raje of usurping the government property for a business interest. In question is the ownership status of the Dholpur Palace.
“Niyant Heritage Hotels limited owned by Vasundhara Raje, her son Dushyant Singh and Lalit Modi have taken possession of the Government of Rajasthan property and converted into a private high-end hotel,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told the press in New Delhi.
The party 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,”Jairam Ramesh added.
“This is the fourth episode in the serial of Vasudhara Raje and the fugitive Lalit Modi,” the Congress leader said once again demanding Rajasthan CM’s resignation.
But the state BJP unit has rejected allegations made by the Congress party. It claims that the said property is owned by Dushyant Singh as he was awarded the ownership by his father Mr. Hemant Singh in a court settlement in 2007.
At a press conference in Jaipur, the party also cited that in 2010, the then Rajasthan government led by Congress has even paid compensation to Dushyant Singh after the part of property taken for a highway project.
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 another round of allegations, the opposition party once again attacked Prime Minister Modi.
“The PM is silent on Lalit Modi issue…We want to tell our PM that Vasundhara Raje and Lalit Modi converted government property into personal assets,” Jairam Ramesh said.
Earlier on Monday, another opposition party, AAP staged a protest at Delhi Jantar Mantar demanding Raje’s resignation.
“Modiji is silent out of compulsion. Raje has put up a display of strength which has scared Modi,” AAP leader Dilip Pandey alleged at Jantar Mantar.
(With inputs from PTI)