Rajasthan crisis: BJP dares Gehlot to prove horse-trading charges or quit

Deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore said that the chief minister has used words like 'Bakra-mandi' (goat market) and insulted all the MLAs of the state

The BJP on Saturday dared Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to prove his allegation of horse-trading levelled against it or quit politics, and claimed he was targeting the opposition party as he was unable the check the infighting in the state Congress.

Taking a swipe as the chief minister, Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat alleged that Gehlot had come up a with a "cooked up story" with an intention to defame Congress' state president and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot for his personal political gains.

"The chief minister himself was the script writer, producer, director, actor and villain of this film, said Shekhawat asking him to bring out the list of the MLAs, whom he considered "saleable".

Leader of opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said the chief minister should handle his party's internal crisis and should stop making "false accusations" against the BJP.

The chief minister appeared dejected in the press conference today and the people of the entire state saw that he has touched a low. The chief minister is not able to handle the infighting in the Congress, Kataria told reporters through a video conference.

I challenge the chief minister to prove his allegations against the BJP. If the allegations are proved then I will quit politics and if the charges are not proved then Chief Minister Gehlot should quit politics," he said.

Deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore said that the chief minister has used words like 'Bakra-mandi' (goat market) and insulted all the MLAs of the state.

The chief minister has compared the MLAs to Bakra-mandi and goats, which I strongly condemn. It is clear that he has lost his mental balance, Rathore said at a press conference.

Party's state president Satish Poonia said that Gehlot should utilise agencies like SOG and ACB in controlling corruption and crime instead of threatening independent MLAs and political parties.

The chief minister did not talk logically in his press conference. It is their own infighting but he wants to blame BJP. He is a veteran leader of Congress and his pain is justified because Congress has shrunk in the country, he said.

Shekhawat alleged that Gehlot "has fabricated this entire episode to defame and eliminate his state party president and deputy chief minister for his personal political gains".

If the BJP has attempted to destablise the state government, Gehlot should share the evidence of it instead of cooking up stories," he said, calling upon the SOG to conduct a free and fair probe into these allegations.

The BJP was reacting after Gehlot accused its top states leaders of conspiring to topple his government at the behest of the saffron party's central leadership.

The state police's special operations group (SOG) arrested two persons and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) filed a preliminary enquiry against three Independent MLAs for alleged attempts to bribe Congress MLAs ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls last month and destabilise the state government.

The SOG FIR mentions that phone intercepts revealed that two persons were allegedly talking about the rift between the chief minister and the deputy chief minister and toppling the Congress government by poaching MLAs.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel