4G tablet row: Guj slams Cong for misleading claims

4G tablet row: Gujarat government slams Congress for misleading claims

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani. (PTI Photo)

A day after the Congress accused it of buying 4G tablets at an inflated price, the Gujarat government on Friday claimed that the opposition was citing the price of touchscreens and not tablets available on e-commerce portals.

Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani on Thursday had claimed that the same tablet, with 4G calling facility and seven-inch screen, was available for Rs 1,400 apiece on an e-commerce portal.

Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on Friday showed two screenshots of the website and informed the House that Dhanani mistook the advertisement for a 7-inch touchscreen as that for an entire tablet.

"As you can see, Rs 1,400 is for the replacement touchscreen of that 7-inch tablet. The price for the whole tablet is mentioned as USD 99, which comes to around Rs 7,000. Dhanani must take back his allegations or tender an apology here," Chudasama said.

The government had told the Assembly that it was purchasing 4G calling tablets at Rs 6,667 a piece for around three lakh first-year college students under a state government scheme launched three years ago.

Each beneficiary student is required to pay a token sum of Rs 1,000 for a tablet.

Responding to Chudasama, Dhanani said he will make a statement only after going through the evidence shared by the treasury benches.

"I don't have a problem apologising. But, I will still stick to my version and get back to you only after going through the technical details," the Congress leader said in the Assembly.

Unhappy with Dhanani's reply, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani insisted that he give a clarification before the media.

"All newspapers today carried stories saying the government had done irregularity of over Rs 150 crore, which is wrong. Forget Rs 1,400, I challenge you to buy the same tablet for Rs 2,000. We had made the purchase only after a tendering process," he said.

"I expect Pareshbhai to show some honesty and clarify before the media," Rupani added. 

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