Jaipur: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday once again levelled charges of horse-trading against the BJP saying that the game to topple the Rajasthan government has begun and there is also talk of bringing down the Maharashtra government.
Former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot’s rebellion in July this year and the BJP’s alleged attempts to dislodge his government are still haunting Gehlot and he trained his guns on union home minister Amit Shah, saying he had attempted to dislodge the Rajasthan government.
At the time, it was alleged that Pilot was planning to join hands with the BJP to unseat the Gehlot government.
The BJP hit back, saying Gehlot’s allegations were baseless and he had failed to manage Congress’s internal rift and was blaming the BJP for his party’s troubles.
Gehlot, while addressing a virtual meeting to inaugurate the Congress party office in Sirohi district, said, “The (rebel) MLAs met Shah. Dharmendra Pradhan was also there. Syed Zafar Islam, who is an MP and who took (Jyotiraditya) Scindia to the BJP, was also there .The meeting lasted for an hour and the MLAs later told me that they were feeling ashamed that once a man like Sardar Patel was the home minister and now Shah was the home minister who was offering them biscuits and snacks,” said Gehlot.
“They tried to create an impression that we have toppled five governments and we are going to dislodge the sixth one,” said Gehlot.
He said Congress in-charge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken had been in the state when the political drama was playing out and he knew exactly what was going on in Rajasthan.
While not naming them, Gehlot also hit out at the rebel MLAs from the Pilot camp and backed their dismissal.
The Congress government could only be saved because Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, Maken, (former Rajasthan incharge) Avinash Pande and (Rajya Sabha MP) KC Venugopal all camped in Rajasthan and took the decision to suspend party leaders, said Gehlot.
In the aftermath of the political crisis, Pilot was removed as deputy chief minister and state Congress president. Two ministers from his camp were dismissed from the cabinet.
“BJP is doing this conspiracy in all states. People say Maharashtra is next in line. We don’t know what will happen. They are going to start the game again in Rajasthan,” said Gehlot.
Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia said Gehlot had used derogatory language and made objectionable statements against Amit Shah and Dharmendra Pradhan without any logic or evidence.
“Gehlot says the BJP was involved in the conspiracy to topple the government but the fact is that this was an internal problem of the Congress party and still is. The government will fall due to its own actions and the weakness of the party high command,” said Poonia.
Poonia said Congress leader Mahendrajit Singh Malviya’s video in which he has alleged that Bharatiya Tribal Party MLAs were given Rs 10 crore each to support the Congress government during the political crisis proves that money was used to manage MLAs and save the government.
Former home minister and BJP MLA Gulab Chand Kataria said Gehlot’s allegations were baseless and he was blaming the BJP for Congress’s own troubles.
“The rift was evident since the first day but you did not manage it. So the dissent has been simmering since then. To save the government you gave assurances to people to support you but now you have not been able to fulfil those assurances, so that anger was bound to erupt,” said Kataria.