Rajasthan polls: After 50 ED raids, why no Cong leader arrested? Gehlot on warpath

Rajasthan CM says BJP's attempt to topple the state government through horse-trading has failed

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot (photo: National Herald archives)
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot (photo: National Herald archives)


Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday termed the "red diary" issue and the Mahadev betting app case as "conspiracies" of the BJP to win assembly polls in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

An inquiry into the matter should be conducted by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, he demanded, saying 'laal diary' was a conspiracy by the BJP. "They thought it would become a big issue if the prime minister spoke about it. Similarly, Mahadev app case… Smriti Irani held a press conference, ED (Enforcement Directorate) issued a press note but no investigation was done. The prime minister was speaking about it. The whole conspiracy was to arrest the Chhattisgarh chief minister, but they got exposed,” he said at a press conference in Jaipur.

The ED and income tax department conducted 50 raids in Rajasthan, but was any politician or bureaucrat arrested following the raids in the state, Gehlot asked. "They have been exposed. They are pained that they could not topple the Rajasthan government by horse trading," he said.

Later at a press conference, Union home minister Amit Shah asked why Gehlot did not get the red diary matter investigated.

The BJP has been targeting the Congress governments in both states over the red diary and the Mahadev betting app. A sacked Rajasthan minister had alleged that a 'red diary' contains details of alleged financial irregularities committed by the Gehlot government.

Meanwhile on 5 November, the Centre blocked 22 illegal betting platforms, including the Mahadev app, on the ED’s request. The action followed investigations conducted by the ED against an illegal betting app syndicate and subsequent raids in connection with the Mahadev app in Chhattisgarh.

The chief minister also lashed out at the BJP for publishing full page advertisements in newspapers containing compilations of news clippings on incidents of crime in Rajasthan, and charged that the BJP wants to win elections by "misleading people" and "hatching conspiracies".

He said a woman was molested inside Banaras Hindu University in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, but no one was talking about that. Wrestlers were also on dharna and accused a BJP MP (former Wrestling Federation of India Brijbhushan Singh) of molesting them, but the prime minister was silent, he said.

On the BJP making the Kanhaiya Lal murder case a poll issue, Gehlot once again claimed that those who killed Lal were BJP workers and that BJP leaders, including the deputy mayor, had got them released in some other case earlier.

Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, was murdered by two men wielding cleavers in his shop in Udaipur last year, ostensibly for supporting a social media post by BJP leader Nupur Sharma. The post was seen as an insult to Islam.

Gehlot also lashed out at the prime minister for his remark on late Rajasthan Congress leader Rajesh Pilot and accused the party of seeking to provoke the Gujjar community, to which Pilot belonged. Gehlot said 72 Gujjars were killed in police firing during BJP rule in the state, when the community held an agitation to demand job reservations, whereas during his own rule, "not even a lathi (baton) charge" was done despite agitations, and five per cent reservations were granted to the community.

PM Modi on Wednesday accused the Congress of "punishing" Rajesh Pilot's son Sachin Pilot "after meting out the same treatment to his father", saying anyone who speaks the truth in the party is shunted out of politics.

Sachin Pilot had hit back saying there was no need for anyone other than the party and the people to worry about him.

Asserting that there is no anti-incumbency against his government in Rajasthan, Gehlot said the prime minister, home minister, and chief ministers of BJP ruled states were intensely campaigning for the Rajasthan assembly elections but no one of them will be seen after 25 November, the day of polling.

The results will be declared on 3 December.

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