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Congress talks tough, claims to have ‘record’ of BJP conspiracy against govt

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 17, 2020

AICC communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala with Rajasthan Congress President Govind Singh Dotasra at a press conference in Jaipur on Friday   -  PTI

The Congress seems to have finally decided to close its doors to former president of its Rajasthan unit Sachin Pilot. The party has stepped up its offensive against the rebel MLAs by deciding to file an FIR against union minister and BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and by suspending rebel MLAs Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh.

Talking to reporters in Jaipur, AICC communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said some audio tapes that have emerged clearly prove that there was a conspiracy to unseat the Ashok Gehlot government.

Surjewala, who earlier had asked Pilot to come back to the party, said on Friday that someone who had wanted to come back may have joined back to the family in a day or two. He also accused one Sanjay Jain, reportedly a businessman close to the BJP, as a conspirator in the plot to destablise Gehlot government.

BJP’s denial

The BJP and Shekhawat, however, denied the charges. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra citing Surjewala’s earlier statement said the Congress had said that there could be voices of dissent in a family. “The Congress is now trying to suppress this noise through a manufactured audio,” Patra said. “This is not my voice... Let there be an investigation. I am ready to face any probe,” Shekhawat said. Rebel Congress MLA Sharma too maintained the voice in the tape is not his and it is manufactured.

Surjewala said the conspiracy to topple the Congress government is clear through the so-called conversation. “This is a black chapter in the history of democracy,” he added. He urged Pilot to make his stand clear publicly about the alleged mention of providing the list of MLAs to BJP’ in the audio tapes.

FIR registered

Meanwhile, based on the Congress Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi’s complaint, a Special Operations Group of the Rajasthan Police registered an FIR against Shekhawat, Sharma and Jain. Surjewala said Shekhawat should be arrested by obtaining a warrant. “Similar action should also be taken against Sharma and Jain,” he demanded. A team of SOP visited the MLAs in Pilot’s camp who are now at a hotel near Manesar.

Meanwhile, the court allowed four days’ time for the rebel MLAs to reply to Speaker CP Joshi’s notice asking their response to a complaint from Congress seeking their disqualification. Pilot and others had approached the High Court against Joshi’s notice. Joshi was about to take a decision on disqualification on Friday.

Published on July 17, 2020

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