Jal Mahal lease: Gehlot questions BJP



Jaipur: With the High Court cancelling the 99-year Jal Mahal lease to a private firm, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday sought to deflect criticism saying the previous BJP government should have cancelled tenders if it felt the process initiated when he was at helm was unfair.

He said the process for leasing out the land was finalised during the previous BJP government for which tendering process was started under the Congress government led by him.

The state government's decision to lease out 100 acre land near the Jalmahal in the ancient Mansagar lake was cancelled yesterday by the High Court.

"Tendering process started for this project... But then our government was voted out but the BJP government could have cancelled the tenders if there was something wrong about the decision," Gehlot told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

"When a new government forms, it reviews decisions of the past six months taken by the previous government to check whether the intention behind the decision was right.

"If anything was wrong, why the BJP government instead of cancelling the tender, processed to approve the project?" he asked.

"The project was related with tourism and was worked out at tourism department level in my previous tenure, but after that, when BJP government came to power, it was processed at chief minister's level.

"Since judiciary has an importance place in the country, everybody should respect it," he said, adding after examining the judgement, the government and the parties will take decisions accordingly.

Gehlot said that if the companies prefer to go to Supreme court, the government will give its reply if it is made a party.

PTI