Charging the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan with violating set guidelines by giving away 653 mines to individuals on first come, first serve basis, causing a loss of nearly Rs 45,000 crore to the public exchequer, the Congress today demanded Mr Raje'sresignation and a Supreme Court-monitored probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Mines mega allocation scam. "Rajasthan Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje gave away national resources i.e. 653 mines (equaling 1,43,253 bighas or 22085.81 hectares in area) worth Rs. 45,000 crore, to a chosen few, in absolute violation of the mandatory competitive bidding process. The Congress party demands that she be sacked immediately and a Supreme Court monitored CBI probe launched against her". said spokesperson in Congress party's press conference today.
Terming it as one of the biggest scams in the history of Rajasthan, AICC media incharge Randeep Surjewala, addressing a joint press conference along with Rajasthan PCC president Sachin Pilot and state CLP leader Rameshwar Didi, here said, ''between October 30, 2014 and January 12, 2015, the Rajasthan government, led by its Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, proceeded to issue prospecting licenses and mining leases for 653 mines equivalent to 1,43,253 bighas i.e, 22085.81 hectares with approximate auction value of over Rs 45,000 crore. This was in complete defiance of the April 12, 2012 Supreme Court judgement, in willful negation of the mandatory policy dated October 30, 2014 and the statutory obligation of allocation of mines only through auction through competitive bidding.'' Speaking on the issue, Rajasthan PCC chief Sachin Pilot said,''Malfeasance, fraud, loot, corruption and conspiratorial scams have become the hallmarks of the BJP Government in Rajasthan. We demand immediate sacking of Ms Raje, her cabinet colleagues and other officers. The Congress also demands that investigation be done by the CBI, monitored by the Supreme Court. The inquiry be completed within a fixed time frame.'' Charging the Raje Government with committing several illegalities in willful violation of the October 30, 2014 policy, Mr Pilot said, ''no prior approval of the Central Government was taken before issuing LOIs for 653 prospecting licences/mining leases. Also, no prior notification was published in Official gazette/government website/public advertisements inviting applications for grant of 653 prospecting licences/mining leases. No exploration data or details of available minerals was published. Even mining area was not notified. All this was done so that the 653 mineral mines for 22,085.81 hectares would not be subject to the process of auction through competitive bidding. Loss to the exchequer on account of this fraudulent decision is writ large.