BJP counter to Congress attack on Gujarat minister indicted in mining scam

BJP counselled Congress against attacking Gujarat government on indictment of minister in illegal mining case, saying former Congress MP has also been convicted and law should take its course.

New Delhi: BJP on Saturday counselled Congress against attacking Gujarat government on the issue of indictment of a minister in an illegal mining case, saying a former Congress MP has also been convicted in the case and the law should be allowed to take its course.
"BJP wishes to state regarding the court order in Gujarat on the conviction of minister Babubhai Bokhiria in a case of illegal mining that he has been given bail. He shall use his discretion to go or not go in appeal to a higher court in the next seven days," party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Bokhiria, who is Water Resources Minister in the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat, has been found guilty by a Porbandar court in a case of illegal mining of limestone. The scam is estimated to be to the tune of Rs 54 crore.

"Our friends in Congress want to readily comment on the issue. I would like to say that they should stop before jumping to any conclusion. In the same matter, a former Congress MP Bharatbhai Odedara has also been convicted," Sitharaman said.

The BJP leader was quick to point out that two convictions do not mean illegal mining is justified but it should make Congress first "look into the mirror" and then attack the ruling party in Gujarat.

Bokhiria had defeated Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) Chief Arjun Modvadia in the last assembly elections.

"Congress is seeking some vicarious pleasure as Bokhiria had defeated Modvadia. But we may as well respect the court verdict rather than score brownie points on this issue," Sitharaman said.

Attacking the Modi government on the issue, Congress said in New Delhi that this was a "not a new thing" and such things have come out against ministers in BJP governments in other states like Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Uttarakhand, too.

AICC spokesperson Bhakta Charan Das said,"When there was such a case against him, why was he made a minister. BJP, which always claims to be very clean and keeps talking about corruption should contemplate over the kind of corruption happening in the states ruled by the party.

"People of the country have bid them farewell in the states where they earlier ruled because of these reasons."

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