Cong targets Raje over mining scam, says CBI must probe

A day after Rajasthan government cancelled allotment of 601 mines and handed over the probe to Lokayukta, state Congress blamed Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for the alleged irregularities and said the exercise was meant to just “save her chair”.

Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sachin Pilot alleged that an impartial probe into the matter was out of the question as long as Vasundhara Raje stayed at the helm of the state.

“No bureaucrat can allot 653 mines illegally without the knowledge of the Chief Minister. The theft has been caught but not the thieves. Modi government which claims to have zero tolerance over the issue of corruption has closed eyes on Rs 45,000 crore mining scam in Rajasthan,” said Pilot.

Congress said the BJP was targeting opposition leaders to divert the attention of the people from big issues like the mining scam.

Investigating agencies are being pressurised to achieve political objectives.

“If Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) can conduct five raids on the residence of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on the day when his daughter was getting married, why can’t it probe the Rajasthan mining scam,” said Pilot.

Rajasthan government’s decision to cancel the allotment of the 601 mines, which were part of an alleged multi-crore bribery scam, comes after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) constituted a special team to review allotment of 653 mines by the Rajasthan government in 2014-15.

“The government has come on back foot and this is the reason why it has cancelled the allotment of mines and handed over the probe to Lokayukta. Why was this decision taken just a day after Comptroller and Auditor General constituted a special team to review allotment,” asked Pilot.

Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot charged that Raje had taken the decision so that she doesn’t need to step down.

“Illegal allotment of mines is the biggest scam in the history of Rajasthan. Government has started damage control exercise as chief minister wants to save her chair,” said former chief minister Ashok Gehlot.

The multi-crore bribery scam had rocked the state in September, leading to the arrest of eight mining department officials, including Principal Secretary (Mines) Ashok Singhvi, by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB).

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