Phone tapping charges have come back to haunt the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot led government in Rajasthan, with Congress MLA Ved Prakash Solanki alleging that some legislators have talked about their phones being tapped. He however, didn't name any MLA who levelled the phone tapping charge.
Solanki, an MLA from Chaksu seat, is a staunch supporter of former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. He said that MLAs also fear of being trapped by various agencies.
"I do not know if my phone is being tapped or not. Some legislators have told me that their phones are being tapped. I am also not aware if the state government is involved in phone tapping. Many officials told them (legislators) that it seems that there are efforts underway to trap them," he said.
Solanki added thet some MLAs have informed the Chief Minister about the matter.
Meanwhile, BJP state president Satish Poonia has charged that the Congress is intimidating its MLAs.
“Today again a Congress MLA is saying that many MLAs say their phones are being tapped and spying is happening. Congress should tell who these MLAs are? The Congress is intimidating its own MLAs," he tweeted.
"There was a similar situation a year back, Deputy CM was dismissed. If an MLA suspects this, then it seems there's an undeclared emergency in the state. CM and HM are responsible for it...Congress' internal conflict indicates a mid term poll," he said on Friday.
Besides, Rajasthan BJP incharge, Arun Singh has alleged that conspiracy of spying is going on in Rajasthan under CM Gehlot's leadership. "This happened earlier too and he admitted in Assembly that phone tapping indeed took place. Rajasthan is going through an extremely bad phase...There's conflict in Congress," he added.
BJP MP Rajyavardhan Rathore said that for 2.5 years there's been an internal rift in Rajasthan Congress over position, power and money. "Sometimes they stay in hotels for months and sometimes they use govt machinery for phone tapping," he alleged.
"At a time when there has been COVID mismanagement by them (state govt) with injections found in pits, sewage, their only management has been to stay in power," he added.
For the uninitiated, in July last year, Pilot and 18 Congress legislators had rebelled against Gehlot. One of the accusations they levelled was about illegal phone tapping. The charges gained ground when some audio clips of telephonic conversations were shared by Gehlot’s officer on special duty (OSD) Lokesh Sharma. The audio clips were later handed over to Rajasthan Police’s special operations group (SOG) to investigate charges that some legislators were trying to topple an elected government through horse trading. The SOG ultimately closed the case after the Congress high command intervened to resolve the issues between Gehlot and Pilot.
Notably, an All India Congress Committee (AICC) panel formed last year to sort out differences between Gehlot and the Pilot camp is yet to come up with a solution. Pilot was sacked as the deputy CM and the state’s Congress chief after his rebellion last year.