Despite not being fully convinced to hand over investigation of Vadra land deals to CBI, Vasundhara Raje has bowed to pressure from Delhi. Her only political gain from the move is a distant possibility of her béte noire Ashok Gehlot being embroiled in the mudslinging.
Party insiders in Congress feel that Rahul Gandhi will not be able to pose a formidable challenge to Narendra Modi in 2019 acid test. BJP on the other hand is wisely not focusing on Rahul but on Priyanka Gandhi. BJP is somehow still convinced that Vadra land deals are their best bet to keep the issue alive in short spanned public memory and to target Priyanka Gandhi. Sources in BJP say that Vasundhara Raje has handed over inquiry of Vadra land deals in Bikaner to CBI on the advice of party president Amit Shah.
Narendra Modi does not want any formidable opponent in camp of congress to oppose him in 2019. This is the reason that CBI is being pushed as a tool to dent Priyanka Gandhi’s public image. With dismal performance of Team-Rahul in assembly elections in four states in 2018, voices inside congress have become shriller to induct Priyanka Gandhi in major role before 2019.
Though the allotment of land in lieu of acquisition for Mahajan field firing range took place in 2006-07 but Vadra purchased and sold these lands during Ashok Gehlot’s regime. Vasundhara Raje is trying to hit two birds with one shot – accommodating request of party leadership and targeting her political rival in state.
In 2014, 18 FIR were registered in Gajner and Kolayat police station in Bikaner district of Rajasthan for getting land allotted on the basis of fake documents in lieu of land acquisition for Mahajan field firing range in 2006-07. These lands were purchased by Vadra’s company Skylight Hospitality and were sold within few years for more than five time profit. These land deals had become major embarrassment for Congress as BJP had tried its best to highlight Vadra issue in their poll campaign in 2014.
With eye of 2019 general election, BJP leadership which once termed CBI as a ‘parrot of union government’ is again trying to rack up the issue afresh with a CBI inquiry in the matter. Priyanka Gandhi has been unfazed and has kept her safe distance from by the Vadra controversies. But with government trying to focus on sullying her image, she has reasons to worry about. But, Vasundhara Raje is all set to gain from the episode by aliening herself near the otherwise uncomfortable company of Modi-Shah duo and targeting Gehlot – an image conscious politician from old congress school.