Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot
Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot
Photo by FPJ Correspondent

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday alleged that the BJP in was trying to topple over his government by buying off Congress MLAs.

Gehlot was addressing the media hours after the Congress issued a release alleging that the BJP was attempting to poach its MLAs.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot accuses BJP of trying to 'bribe' Congress MLAs to shift loyalties to topple government

Gehlot alleged that the BJP, which is the main opposition in the state, was offering MLAs up to Rs 15 crore or "favours" to switch allegiances and help topple his government.

On Friday, the BJP had moved a Breach of privilege motion against CM Gehlot.

There is trouble within the Congress, as this IANS wire suggests. The fight raging within the Rajasthan Congress is once again out in the open as the SOG (Special Operations Group) released tapped phone calls which discuss the rift between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot.

The tapped conversation reveals, "there is a face-off between CM and deputy CM. Deputy CM wants to be the CM, however, BJP wants to put up its own CM. Deputy CM will be made union minister in centre."

The entire story was unveiled after the SOG on Friday filed an FIR and arrested two people from Udaipur after tapping their phones. The names of persons involved in the telephonic conversation have not been revealed though.

SOG Inspector Vijay Kumar in the FIR said that BJP leaders tried to lure Kushalgarh MLA Rameela Khadiya with money to bring her to its camp. However, Khadiya has refuted all such claims and said, she "received no phone call from any one in this context."

Meanwhile, the ATS and SOG ADG Ashok Rathore said that the phones tapped have complete recordings of plans being made by the BJP to topple the Rajasthan government. In fact, new plans to form the new government were also recorded, he said adding that two people have been arrested in this context and are being brought to Jaipur from Udaipur for further investigation.

According to the SOG, it had put the mobile numbers -- 9929229909 and 8949065678 under surveillance in connection with arms smuggling. However, it was revealed in the discussions that before the Rajya Sabha elections a conspiracy was hatched to topple the government.

Information about giving Rs 25 crore to MLAs has also come to light. This disclosure came on Friday after SOG Jaipur filed a case on a report given by Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi.

However, many Congress MLAs have termed the entire episode as cock and bull story and said that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is getting unnecessary paranoid despite Congress enjoying a strong number in state. It just can't repeat the MP story, one of the ministers told IANS.

Another Congress MLA said that the CM wants to leave his imprint as a Chanakya who handled his rule smartly. However, he is spoiling Pilot's image in the entire episode to ensure he quits the game and Gehlot can have his own say.

Meanwhile, leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore told IANS that the entire story has been scripted, directed and produced by Ashok Gehlot who wants to set his own team in place leaving aside the Pilot camp.

Meanwhile, 24 MLAs from Gehlot camp, who till Rajya Sabha elections said that they did not receive any call, issued a joint statement in a press note accusing the BJP of luring them with money power.

Unitedly, they said that the BJP is trying to topple the government.

"We have taught BJP a lesson earlier and shall fight such fascist forces in future too," they said.

These MLAs include Jogender Singh Awana, Indira Meena, Sandeep Yadav, Shakuntala Rawat amongst others who switched from BSP with 5 other MLAs to join the Congress.

Meanwhile, BJP state president Satish Poonia told IANS that it is good that the state government has accepted how it is going the unethical way by tapping phones. "This is Gehlot's game of defaming his own MLAs and deputy CM. Rameela has already refuted the allegation. Basically, the Congress party is trying to deviate from the issue of poor governance and is engaging in dirty fight," he added.

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