BJP’s attempts to topple Rajasthan govt: Gehlot names BJP leaders Satish Punia and Rajendra Singh Rathor

Rajasthan Police’s SOG has traced two numbers that were apparently used in the horse trading and has taken its users into custody. They are being interrogated

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (IANS Photo)
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (IANS Photo)
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Prakash Bhandari

After 24 Congress legislators accused the BJP for trying to topple the democratically elected Rajasthan government, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot picked up the cudgel and straightway named BJP state unit president Satish Punia and former minister and senior BJP functionary Rajendra Singh Rathor for working actively to bring down the Congress government.

In a hard-hitting statement, Gehlot accused the BJP of working to topple the government when the state government is combating the Coronavirus.

“The BJP has surpassed all lows of morality. While the state government is fighting to save the lives of the people because of the havoc caused by Coronavirus, the BJP is in the game of toppling the government. Our ministers are not only trying to save the lives of the people but are also combating the endeavours of the BJP to topple the government,” said Gehlot.

He accused the BJP leadership of luring the MLAs by offering them hefty amounts. He said the BJP is approaching the MLAs with Rs 10 crore as advance with the remaining Rs 15 crore to be paid after they switched their sides.

“BJP president Satish Punia and Rajendra Singh Rathor are the key people involved in this anti-democratic operations. The people of the state have understood the BJP’s game plan. The Congress has never indulged in horse-trading to form the government. But the BJP has been indulging in it by using its money power to form governments in some states where they had no majority. They want to create a Madhya Pradesh like situation in Rajasthan, but their intentions will never be successful.

Some 24 Congress MLAs have accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading and corrupt practice with the aim to pull down the Congress government.

The MLAs in joint statement issued on Friday night accused the  BJP’s senior leadership of luring the party’s MLAs and also the allies’ MLAs to break away from the Congress and help the BJP in forming the government.

In a statement, they said that the BJP tried to lure the MLAs before the recent Rajya Sabha election, but its bid was foiled because of the unity and solidarity of the MLAs. Having failed once, the BJP is reasserting itself to offer money to the MLAs to destabilise the government.

The 24 MLAs on Friday night met Gehlot at his residence and accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading in a fresh bid to pull the government down. The MLAs said that all such MLAs who were offered Rs 25 crore prior to the Rajya Sabha election were once again approached. But these MLAs showed their loyalties to the party and trust in the leadership of the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, they added.

The state police’s special operation group (SOG) arm, which was approached by Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi before the Rajya Sabha poll to probe the matter, has now found that the BJP really hatched a conspiracy to lure the MLAs by offering them money. On a complaint lodged by the chief whip Joshi on June 12, the SOG started the probe.

The additional director general of SOG, Ashok Rathor, said that the SOG traced two numbers - 9929229909 and 8949065678 - belonging to two noted criminals involved in the smuggling of arms and explosives, which were used for the purpose of horse-trading. The SOG arrested two persons - Ashok Singh Chauhan of Udaipur and Bharat Bhai of Beawar in Ajmer who own these mobiles. The two persons were booked for their acts and are being interrogated. The SOG have solid proof after monitoring their mobiles that money was offered to the MLAs. The call details made it clear that these two numbers were used for approaching the MLAs with hefty cash offers.

The BJP has decided to move a privilege motion against Ashok Gehlot, accusing him of demeaning the legislators by labelling charges against them for indulging in horse-trading. The BJP move came after an independent MLA Sanyam Lodha, who has extended his support to the Congress government, moved a privilege motion against BJP president and MLA Satish Punia.

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