Oppn corners Gehlot over favouritism charges in allotting mines



Jaipur: Opposition BJP on Thursday again tried to corner Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the Assembly over the allegations of favouring his relatives in allotment of mines and demanded a House committee to probe the matter.

The Chief Minister, however, rejected the allegation and reiterated that he was ready for any probe and offered Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria to go through the documents of the government before coming to any conclusion.

During the zero hour, Kataria demanded Speaker Deependra Singh Shekhawat to form a House committee to probe into the allegations against Gehlot and asked for the report to be tabled during the ongoing budget session in order to make it clear whether the allegations of nepotism in awarding mining contracts were true or false.

The Speaker, however, did not give any ruling which led to BJP members creating an uproar in the Assembly.

Gehlot on his part refuted the allegations saying the reports by a section of media were baseless and the decision to allot mines was approved by the cabinet and it was not on the basis of pick and choose.

He said that Kataria should go through the cabinet memo and other documents to determine whether there was any irregularity in allotting mines.

Gehlot said the decision to allot mines was approved by the cabinet and there were no irregularities.

He further said that the decision was taken last year but the mines have not been allotted so far, toning down the uproar by the opposition.

Some media reports on Tuesday and Wednesday claimed that Gehlot's relatives were allotted sandstone mines at "throwaway prices" in Jodhpur.

The media reports have claimed that out of the total 37 allottees, 16 were either relatives or close to Gehlot and were allotted sandstone mines last year in Jodhpur after changes in the mines policy.

Gehlot had rejected these allegations in the House yesterday as well.

PTI