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Rajasthan CM Raje attacks Congress on Barmer refinery deal, faces protests again

Protests against Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje’s Gaurav Yatra continued in Barmer on Sunday. The Congress youth wing organised a mock final procession of the Raje government in Balotra.

Updated: Sep 03, 2018 15:53:17

By Mukesh Mathrani

Women take selfie with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje during 'Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra' at Baytu, near Barmer on Sunday, Sept 2, 2018. (PTI)

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Sunday charged the previous Congress government and said that there is a difference of Rs 40,000 crore in the Barmer refinery deal finalised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. She asked who was “pocketing the huge sum of money”.

Raje said her government renegotiated the Barmer oil refinery project with HPCL because the conditions set by the former Congress government were not in the state’s interest. The work on the refinery started only after the BJP government came to power and brought down the state’s financial burden, she said.

Raje also lashed out at the Congress and said that after independence, the Congress had coined the ‘Garibi Hatao’ (remove poverty) slogan but instead of helping people they removed their own poverty. “They (the previous government) just gave slogan of removing poverty but instead of removing poverty of the poor, they removed their own poverty,” she said.

Raje addressed public meetings as part of the Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra at Pareu, Siwana and Pachpadra. Earlier on Saturday, she had addressed three public meetings in Barmer at Gudamalani, Chohtan and Barmer. On Sunday, before starting her yatra she offered prayers at the famous Viratra Mata temple in Chohtan.



Raje alleged that the Congress had misled the people in the name of the refinery as at the time of laying the foundation stone they did not have land and environment clearance certificates.

She also alleged that the previous government lacked vision for development and had “stalled” the state’s growth. She alleged the Congress only did politics and “never” focused on development.

“We keep development and politics separate but what Congress did? Congress only did politics in the name of the development during their rule,” Raje said at a public meeting.

The chief minister said despite the previous regime leaving a huge financial burden, her government managed to push development amidst challenges.

On the Congress seeking to know why she was taking out the ‘Gaurav Yatra’, the chief minister said, “The works which could not be done by the Congress government in 50 years were done by the BJP government and I feel proud going to the public with the report card of her government.”

The chief minister also said that despite the previous regime leaving a huge financial burden, her government managed to push development amidst challenges.

“Any work can be done with a strong willpower and this is how the (BJP) government has carried out development not only in Baytoo or Barmer but in the entire Rajasthan,” she said.

Meanwhile, protests against Raje’s Gaurav Yatra continued in Barmer on Sunday. The Congress youth wing organised a mock final procession of the Raje government in Balotra. Youth wings leader started the procession from Balotra town and started moving towards the venue of Raje’s public meeting. However, the police reached the spot and stopped them. Some were also detained by the police.

Raje had faced protests in Barmer on Saturday during a public meeting. Black flags were shown to her by some people at the venue. However, they were removed immediately by the police. Four persons have been detained in this case.

Commenting on Raje’s allegation on the Barmer refinery, state Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said, “The CM has not made the renegotiation with HPCL public. The government stake remains the same as of 26%. This is election rhetoric and is made to divert the attention of the public from her failures.”

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 15:53:17

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