Ashok Gehlot using agencies as weapon for his defence: Rajasthan BJP chief

Published on Jun 26, 2022 01:36 PM IST
Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia’s statement came after a Jaipur court issued notice to Union jal shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in connection with a case of attempting to topple the state government in July 2020
Satish Poonia alleged that Ashok Gehlot used the agencies against his own people (File Photo/PTI)
Satish Poonia alleged that Ashok Gehlot used the agencies against his own people (File Photo/PTI)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajasthan state chief Satish Poonia on Saturday alleged that chief minister Ashok Gehlot is using State agencies as a weapon for his defence.

His statement came after the additional district session judge of Jaipur issued notice to Union jal shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in connection with a case of attempting to topple the state government in July 2020. The notice was served to him on June 19 at his office in Delhi in a review petition filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) seeking permission to take his voice sample.

“Chief minister Ashok Gehlot has used police, Anti-Corruption Bureau and Special Operation Group of Rajasthan police as weapons for his own defence,” Poonia said.

He added that the police were used to keeping a watch on their own people (MLAs) be it during the hoarding of MLAs during elections or lodging sedition cases against its former deputy chief minister. Out of revenge, he used the agencies against his own people, Poonia said.

“Though the notice issued to Union jal shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was on court’s order, in totality, it is the revengeful politics of the Congress and the chief minister. This is seen for the first time in Rajasthan politics. Thousands of cases have been registered and such a thing wasn’t seen before. This shows that he is doing conspiracy to create fear and revenge,” he added.

Commenting on the notice to Shekhawat, Gehlot, addressing newspersons in Sikar, said: “Law will take its course. It was rather served late to him… he was trying to save himself but finally it was served from court.”

“What is the problem in giving the voice sample? He has accepted in the Delhi court that it is his voice, even the police there had accepted in the affidavit, when a case was lodged against Lokesh Sharma (Officer on Special Duty -OSD- to the chief minister). You (Shekhawat) were playing the key role in toppling the government, everyone knows that you were exposed. It was you who conspired to topple the government,” Gehlot alleged.

On July 8, 2021, the court of chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM), Jaipur issued directions to take voice samples of Shekhawat and the alleged middleman, Sanjay Jain, in relation to the leaked audio tapes. In the audios, some people were allegedly having conversations to topple the ruling Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan. The order was rejected by a lower court on July 15, 2021, thereafter a review petition was filed by ACB.

The phone-tapping controversy erupted in July 2020 in Rajasthan.

Audio clips of the alleged telephonic conversations between Shekhawat and Congress leaders surfaced amidst a rebellion against chief minister Ashok Gehlot by his then deputy Sachin Pilot and 18 party MLAs supporting him.

Congress leaders of Gehlot’s camp had alleged that BJP leaders were indulging in horse-trading to topple the state government.


    Sachin Saini is Special Correspondent for Rajasthan. He covers politics, tourism, forest, home, panchayati raj and rural development, and development journalism.

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