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Modi acted as an 'extra-constitutional power' in Rajasthan: Gelhot

Source: PTI
April 23, 2010 14:33 IST
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Accusing Indian Premier League Commissioner Lalit Modi of having acted as an "extra-constitutional power" during Vasundhara Raje's rule, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has claimed he used to pressurise officers for favours due to his proximity to the Bharatiya Janata Party leader.

He also asked Raje to clarify whether any state funds were pumped into the T-20 cricketing body.

"Whatever I had alleged during the campaign in the last assembly elections that Modi has acted as an extra-constitutional power during the Raje regime has proved to be true," Gehlot alleged at a press conference in Jaipur on Thursday.

Claiming that the embattled IPL commissioner was "propped up" by Raje as Rajasthan Cricket Association President during her chief ministership, he alleged that because of Modi's proximity to the BJP leader, he used to pressurise officers for favours. "Bureaucrats went to his hotel room carrying files for clearance, but Raje who was aware of all these happenings never cared to stop him," the Congress leader alleged.

Gehlot said that despite the protests by opposition and the media against Modi's activities, Raje "remained silent and this continued for her entire five-year tenure as chief minister of the state".

The chief minister claimed that Raje's silence would be considered as acceptance of doubts in public mind and she should clarify if any state funds were pumped into IPL. Regarding the purchase of two heritage buildings by Modi in Amber Fort area on the outskirt of the city, Gehlot said it was being examined by the law department whether they belonged to the government.

On the court's stay on the Mathur Commission, which is probing charges of corruption against the previous BJP government led by Raje, Gehlot said, "Had the Commission been allowed to work then many things would have been exposed."

To a question on Shashi Tahroor who quit as minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor in the wake of the IPL row, Gehlot said, "Tharoor is a good person but he did not understand the style of functioning and became a political casuality."

Gehlot said that during an earlier meeting with Tharoor when his "cattle class" comment had sparked a controversy, he had cautioned the former minister to be careful about his utterances.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had initiated Tharoor into politics because of his international connections and personality so that the country could benefit from them, but unfortunately he did not understand that, he said.
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