Gehlot addressing a press conference through video conferencing from his official residence
Gehlot addressing a press conference through video conferencing from his official residence

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has come down heavily on the BJP and accused it of horse trading as an attempt to topple his government. Addressing a press conference through video conferencing, Gehlot named BJP state chief Satish Poonia, leader of opposition Gulabchand Kataria, and deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore as those working to topple the government. He said they were luring the MLAs by offering them hefty amount of 25 crore. Of these 10 would be paid as advance and rest 15 crore after the job is done. The chief minister’s attack comes after 24 Congress MLAs accused the BJP of trying to topple the government. Also it comes a day after BJP brought a privilege motion against the chief minister for making charges of horse trading against BJP during Rajya Sabha elections.

“The government is trying to save lives during the COVID19 pandemic, while the BJP is playing a game of topping the government. Our ministers are not just working to save lives, but also to save the government,” said Gehlot.

He added, “Poonia, Kataria and Rathore are the key persons making these attempts. They are doing it to score points in the eyes of their leaders Modi and Shah. But the people have understood the game they are playing. Also the MLAs of Rajasthan have never stooped to the low levels and will not accept this money.”

The chief minister informed that he had received a notice from the SOG and he would cooperate with the agency. “No one is above the law. I will cooperate with the agency. The investigations will reveal the truth,” he said. Gehlot also expressed confidence that his government would complete its full term.

It was widely being speculated that BJP was trying to woo deputy CM Sachin Pilot and his group of loyalists. Interestingly, in reply to a query regarding speculations about rift between him and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and the latter wanting to be CM, Gehlot did not refute. Instead he said, “Who does not want to be a chief minister. And my party has several leaders who are capable of being chief minister, but only one can be on the post.”

IN another development ADG of Special Operations Group (SOG) Ashok Rathore informed that two numbers ie 9929229909 and 8949065678 belonging to criminals accused of smuggling arms and explosives had been used for horse trading. These numbers had been traced to two persons namely Ashok Singh Chauhan of Udaipur and Bharat Bhai of Beawar. The two have been arrested and are being interrogated.

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