Vasundhra Raje illegally occupying Dholpur Palace, says Jairam Ramesh
New Delhi: Keeping up the heat on the Lalitgate issue, Congress on Monday accused Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhra Raje of “forcible, illegal occupation” of the Dholpur Palace, along with Lalit Modi, through a private company.
Senior party leader Jairam Ramesh claimed that Hemant Singh, the estranged husband of Raje, had admitted before a court that the palace was the property of the Rajasthan government.
He told reporters that several revenue department documents between 1954 and 2010 showed that the palace was a government property, but Raje and Lalit Modi's company Niyant Heritage Hotels has turned it into a “high-end luxury hotel” and invested Rs.100 crore with no role of the state government.
Incidentally, this happened post 2009 when the state was ruled by Congress.Ramesh said that Raje in her 2013 assembly poll affidavit had admitted having shares of the Niyant Heritage Hotels Pvt. Ltd, along with her MP son Dushyant Singh, daughter-in-law Niharika and Lalit Modi.
“The election affidavit reflects that she own 3,280 shares, her son and daughter-in-law about 3,225 shares each and Lalit Modi's company Ananda Heritage Hotels Pvt. Ltd 815 shares, establishing the financial relationship, partnership and investment of overseas money from a tax haven,” he said.
He said it proved her business partnership with the former IPL chief, who is now a “fugitive”. The Congress leader alleged that Lalit Modi had used the “Mauritius route” to invest in the company.
He also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, describing him as “Swami Maunendra Baba” for his continued silence over the Lalitgate issue.
Congress has been demanding resignations of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Raje over Lalitgate, of HRD minister Smriti Irani over misrepresenting facts about her educational qualification in separate election affidavits and of Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde for her alleged involvement in a “scam” by clearing purchases worth Rs.206 crore on a single day instead of inviting tenders in violation of norms.