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Rajasthan CM slams BJP's Raje over IPL row

Source: PTI
April 22, 2010 22:33 IST
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Accusing Vasundhara Raje of 'propping up' Lalit Modi as the Rajasthan Cricket Association president during her rule, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said the Bharatiya Janata Party leader should clarify whether any state funds were pumped into the Indian Premier League.

"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.

He claimed that because of Modi's proximity to Raje, 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 protests by the 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".

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".

On former minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor quitting over 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.

The Congress president 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.

Meanwhile, the Indian National Lok Dal has demanded a judicial inquiry into the IPL controversy, saying that the row had brought the gentleman's game into disrepute.

INLD general secretary Ajay Singh Chautala told reporters in Rohtak, Haryana that the resignation by Tharoor was just an eye wash and an inquiry by a retired judge of the Supreme Court into the issue should be held to reveal the truth.

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