Rajasthan: Court issues notice to BJP Union minister over horse-trading; CM Gehlot slams Sachin Pilot

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, meanwhile, has launched a fresh attack on his former deputy Sachin Pilot, alleging he was in connivance with Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in 2020 to overthrow the Congress government in the state

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, June 26, 2022, 12:26 PM IST
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Sachin Pilot with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in Jodhpur | PTI

On Saturday, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was served a court notice by the Rajasthan Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in an alleged case of horse-trading, relating to the allegations of a conspiracy to pull down the Ashok Gehlot government in 2020.

Gehlot, meanwhile, has launched a fresh attack on his former deputy Sachin Pilot, alleging he was in connivance with Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in 2020 to overthrow the Congress government in the state, news agency PTI reported.

Shekhawat also claimed that if Pilot had not failed to topple the Rajasthan government, the state’s 13 districts would not have remained thirsty and the work on the Eastern Canal project would have started.

Gehlot referred to the above statement of Shekhawat and spoke on the recent matter of phone-tapping during his speech.

“The minister (Gajendra Singh Shekhawat) is saying that if Sachin Pilot had not missed the chance and if the government had changed in Rajasthan, then water would have come (through ERCP) in the state. Can a Union minister speak such a language? What can be more shameful than this,” news agency PTI quoted the chief minister.

During his visit to Sikar, Gehlot said, “Everyone knows that you (Shekahwat) conspired to topple the government. Now you are taking the name of Sachin Pilot saying he made a mistake. There is strong proof that you were hand in glove with him (Pilot).”

Addressing a gathering in Chomu, Shekhawat had recently said that Pilot lost a “golden chance” in revolting against the Congress and repeating a “Madhya Pradesh-like experiment” in Rajasthan.

2020 Rajasthan attempted takeover

Amid the turmoil in the Ashok Gehlot government in the middle of 2020 in the wake of a revolt by Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 19 MLAs, an audio tape crept into WhatsApp that laid bare the plot hatched against the government. The voices in the tape were alleged to have been that of Gajendra Singh, Sanjay Jain, and Congress MLAs, B L Sharma and Vishwendra Singh.

After the emergence of the tape in the public domain, the Chief Whip Dr Mahesh Joshi filed a case with the ACB on 10 June 2020 alleging horse-trading in Congress MLAs. The ACB registered the case on July 17, 2020.

Congress leader Mahesh Josh then had registered FIRs with the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Special Operations Group (SOG) on the basis of the audio clips.

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