Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Friday said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's objection to Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar's "frequent" visits to Rajasthan reflects he is not interested in the state's development.
Noting that Vice President Dhankhar is the "son of Rajasthan" and a farmer, Mr Muraleedharan said the visits by the President and Vice President will benefit any state and there is no politics in it.
"I am surprised why the chief minister here is objecting to such issue. It reflects that the chief minister is not interested in development and progress of the state," Mr Muraleedharan told the media on the sidelines of inauguration of Rajasthan's second and country's 37th regional passport office in Kota.
Mr Gehlot should welcome the vice president warmly, instead of objecting to his frequent visits, he added.
The senior Congress leader had said in a rally on Thursday, "Yesterday, the Vice President came and visited five districts. What is the logic? Elections are to be held soon... if you come during this, it will have different meanings and messages, which will not be good for democracy".
On the allegation of avoiding the Manipur violence issue, Mr Muraleedharan said no one in the party and in government avoided the issue and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in detail about the government's policy and its efforts on the subject in the parliament and outside.
Home Minister Amit Shah himself visited Imphal and spoke to the people there, he further said.
Mr Muraleedharan also condemned leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc for their alleged silence on "disgraceful remarks" on Sanatan Dharma.
The opening of the new regional passport office would benefit people from around 15 districts including Kota, Bundi, Jhalawar, Baran, Swai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Pratapgarh, Dungerpur, Banswara, Rajsamand and newly formed district Shahapura, Ganjapur and Salumbar.
The Union minister said there were only 77 passport centres in the county in 2014, but now the number has gone up to 500 in nine years. The Narendra Modi-led government is committed to enabling every countryman to avail passport services easily, he added.
Kota MP and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla joined the inauguration ceremony virtually, while MP from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria, MLA Sandeep Sharma, Madan Dilawar, Kalpna Devi, Chandrakanta Meghwal and Ashok Dogra were present on the occasion with MoS Muraleedharan.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)