Keep your hands clean, Gehlot warns Rajasthan bureaucrats

Ahmadabad: Congress leader Ashok Gehlot addresses during a party meeting in Ahmedabad on May 10, 2017. (Photo: IANS)

Jaipur,   Former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday warned bureaucrats against working under the influence of the state’s BJP government, saying the Congress will investigate the present government’s “misdeeds” after it returns to power.

Addressing a press conference in Jaipur, Gehlot said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been purchasing huge land tracts across the districts for its office use.

“Surprisingly, the pieces of land worth crores are being allotted at throwaway prices. We will initiate a thorough probe once we resume power. Therefore, bureaucrats should stop working under any pressure and keep their hands clean,” he said.

On the suspense prevailing over the new Rajasthan BJP chief in the wake of the resignation of Ashok Parnami, he said Vasundhara Raje should step down as the Chief Minister given her “continuous humiliation” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.

“In Congress, such confusions never occur. Our leaders continue serving their position till we appoint a new face to the post,” he said.

Gehlot said that Raje’s regime in Rajasthan would be remembered for lathicharge on innocent people.

The state had been suffering on all fronts — be it law and order, women security, water crisis or unemployment, he said. “The state government has failed on all fronts.”

He also accused the Central and state governments of following the instructions of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which he said was working like an extra constitutional authority in the country.

“An environment of hatred has been created across the nation where the people are finding it difficult to breathe,” the former Chief Minister said.

When asked about his new role as Congress general secretary, Gehlot said he was like an obedient child who had been serving the assigned duties with utmost sincerity and honesty, “no matter whether it is in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat or New Delhi”.

Reacting to his remarks, state Minister Rajendra Singh Rathore in another press conference said that Gehlot’s statements were an insult to the Chief Minister.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised the Chief Minister whenever he has visited Rajasthan, including during his visits to Barmer and Jhunjhunu.”

He also warned Gehlot to stop terrorising bureaucrats, as this was tantamount to hindering the government’s work.

Answering the allegations of buying land at throwaway prices, Rathore said the BJP had chalked out a transparent land allotment policy in 2015, which was applicable to all parties.

“If even Congress wants to apply for land, the same parameters will be followed,” he added.

Rathore also asked Gehlot to stop dreaming about resuming power in Rajasthan.