Speaking on the occasion, Gehlot said, "Fantastic work has been done in this field. We would like to strengthen it to ensure that people benefit from it. In fact, I see it as a revolution in IT industry. The project reminds me of Rajiv Gandhi and strengthens the belief of realising his dream".
Raje thanked Gehlot for his compliments. "Thank you for appreciating our efforts Gehlot ji, we hope you will take this forward with as much zeal as we did," the former Chief Minister tweeted.
After the exchange of compliments, the political one-upmanship entered the stage.
A day later, Gehlot wrote a series of tweets saying, "It is good Vasundhara ji has thanked us, but it would have been better if as CM she had reflected the same spirit like we are having, regarding #Refinery. As we are appreciating Technohub, they should also have shown the same large-heartedness towards refinery," he said.
Then Raje tweeted a fact sheet, which said Barmer Refinery was proposed in 2004 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, environment clearance was given by it, re-negotiation of MoU to save the state Rs 40,000 crore and four years of hard-work were also done by the BJP regime.
Her tweet also suggested the Congress leaders to study history, which shall do "a world of good" to their government.
Her tweet was, "#FACTCHECK #BarmerRefinery
- Proposed in 2004 BJP
- Environmental Clearance BJP
- Renegotiating MoU saving state Rs 40,000 cr BJP
- IRR from 6% to 12% BJP
- 4 years of hard-work BJP
In her other tweet, Raje said the Congress government laid the foundation stone for Barmer Refinery in 2013, but didn't consider it significant to do the paperwork. The BJP government started working on MoU in three years of its formation, she said. "Why did Congress remember Barmer Refinery just 11 days before the implementation of code of conduct," Raje tweeted.
Not given to sit back, Gehlot tweeted "The arguments that Vasundhara ji is putting forward over #Refinery now, are totally baseless. She wasted four years by misleading the public. If she had not stopped its work, then #Rajasthan would have got the gift of refinery by now."
Gehlot's another tweet read "Our effort has been to take forward all good projects started by our predecessors. We are not stopping any scheme, which is in the interest of people of #Rajasthan."
Now it was the turn of the BJP to join the duel of tweets. "When the first well of Barmer Refinery was dug under the Raje government, how can CM Gehlot sing songs of self-praise. This is a truth that you, Gehlotji, were making an attempt to garner laurels by inaugurating refinery just 11 days before the implementation of model code of conduct," it said.
Raje re-tweeted it.
Just to revive the so-called short public memory, the Barmer oil refinery got stuck in a political quagmire after UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi laid the foundation stone in 2013. The Raje-led BJP government reviewed the 9-million-tonne refinery-cum-petrochemical project alleging the MoU signed by the previous government caused losses to the state exchequer.
Her government then signed an MoU with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) on April 14, 2017. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the green signal to project on January 16, 2018.
Recently, Gehlot was in Barmer to mark 10 years of the Mangala oilfield operations. Barmer field accounts for around 30 per cent of the domestic crude oil output. India's biggest inshore oil reserves was found by Cairn India, an oil iamp; gas company.
However, watch out for the next eruption of tweet war.