Se­lec­tion Tri­als

The ACB’s tight­en­ing noose has ex-CM Gehlot in a sweat

India Today - - STATES -

By Ro­hit Par­i­har

On Jan­uary 15, for­mer Ra­jasthan chief min­is­ter Ashok Gehlot made an un­ex­pected ap­pear­ance at the Anti-Cor­rup­tion Bureau (ACB) of­fice in Jodh­pur, de­mand­ing to meet two close as­so­ci­ates who had been ar­rested for al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in fac­ulty re­cruit­ment at Jodh­pur’s Jai Narayan Vyas Univer­sity. For­mer MLA Ju­gal Kabra and the ex-univer­sity vice-chan­cel­lor Bhan­war Singh Ra­jpuro­hit, now out on bail, were part of the se­lec­tion process.

Shaken by the de­vel­op­ments, Gehlot promptly called for a bandh in home­town Jodh­pur on Jan­uary 24 to protest the arrests. Sources say the for­mer CM ap­pre­hends fur­ther ac­tion against his close aides, in­clud­ing in the al­leged Jodh­pur Devel­op­ment Author­ity (JDA) scam, where just days be­fore the 2013 assem­bly polls, ten­der val­ues for con­struc­tion works were hugely in­flated to ben­e­fit con­trac­tors (the ma­jor­ity of the con­tracts, sus­pi­ciously, also per­tain to his own con­stituency, Sar­darpura). Ra­jen­dra Singh Solanki, the JDA chair­man ap­pointed by Gehlot, is al­ready on the run.

The ACB chargesheet in the var­sity case says Kabra wielded con­sid­er­able in­flu­ence be­cause of his prox­im­ity to Gehlot who was CM when the re­cruit­ments were done be­tween 2011 and 2013.

Many see Gehlot’s bandh call and the threats to ACB of­fi­cers about “reper­cus­sions” as ev­i­dence of a grow­ing panic that the bureau’s ac­tion could se­verely dent his im­age. Arch-ri­val and PCC pres­i­dent Sachin Pi­lot is al­ready the Congress’s CM can­di­date for the polls next year.

NO MARKS Ex-MLA Ju­gal Kabra, third from left, af­ter his ar­rest by the ACB

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.