Calling Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat a “coward”, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday said if he claims to be innocent in the alleged Sanjivani scam, why has he moved court against his arrest, and asked that the police be barred from filing a chargesheet in the case.
Speaking to the media in Jodhpur ahead of launching a campaign in the minister’s Lok Sabha constituency, Gehlot also slammed Shekhawat, who is the Union Minister of Jal Shakti, for failing to declare the East Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) as a national project.
“If he is not an accused, why is he going to court for bail? Now you are praying for stopping the SOG (Rajasthan Police’s Special Operations Group) from filing the chargesheet. You believe you are not accused, you have not made any mistake. Why is the Union minister being a coward?,” Gehlot said.
Shekhawat has filed a defamation case against Gehlot for accusing him and his family of being involved in the alleged Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society "scam". The Rajasthan High Court has also granted a stay on his arrest.
Thousands of investors have been allegedly duped of crores in the alleged Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society scam.
The chief minister accused Shekhawat of not doing enough for the state even though he holds such an important portfolio.
“He could not even get the ERCP declared as a national project,” Gehlot said, terming it to be an important project for eastern Rajasthan.
He appealed to the people of western Rajasthan to also make it an issue since being part of the desert region, they understand the value of water.
Gehlot alleged that instead of executing the ERCP, the Centre was now forcing the Congress government in the state to suspend the project.
The chief minister also trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of turning a blind eye to the violence in Manipur.
“Manipur is an integral part of our country. But it is burning due to a civil war there. Over 100 rapes have taken place there and 200 FIRs have been registered. But Modi has no time to pay a single visit there,” Gehlot said.
Taking a dig at Modi’s frequent visits to Rajasthan, the chief minister said that the prime minister could visit Rajasthan “10 times” but not Manipur even once.
“We raised the issue in Parliament but in spite of that, he did not utter a single word and did not give any reply to our questions. Giving answers is important in a democracy,” Gehlot said.
Referring to Modi's remark on his absence at an inauguration and foundation stone ceremony of some projects in Jodhpur last month, Gehlot accused the PM of harassing the state governments, terming it to be unfair.
“He is harassing states. It’s not fair. He is spreading confusion,” the chief minister said.
“He goes on various inaugural functions of trains etc. Even if there is the railway minister, highway minister or whosoever present there, they are all behind him, and he keeps himself at the front. He always wants his face to be at the front,” Gehlot added.
Asserting that the Congress would be back in power in the state, Gehlot said that there was a favourable atmosphere for the party in villages. However, he said the atmosphere was a little communal in cities, accusing the BJP for it.
Atmosphere in cities has been vitiated due to their Hindu-Muslim division, but the people of cities will now teach them a lesson. People in cities are also convinced that a lot of work has been done this time (by his government),” he asserted.
-With PTI Input