Ashok Gehlot asks for testing ‘horse trading’ audio clips in US, escalates attack on BJP minister
Ashok Gehlot exuded confidence that ‘the truth’ will win in the end.Updated: Jul 23, 2020, 17:47 IST
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has thrown a challenge to get the audio clips, purportedly carrying evidence of Union minister Gajendra Shekhawat’s involvement in alleged attempts to dislodge Rajasthan government, tested in a forensic lab in the United States to prove its veracity.
Gehlot also said that those, whose voices are alleged to be on the audio clips, should get their voice tested to clear their names in the MLA horse-trading case being investigated by the state police.
“If they think they don’t trust the Rajasthan government, then they can send the audio-tapes to the FSL agency in the US for a voice test. They should step forward and undergo a voice test,” Gehlot was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
In an indirect reference to Shekhawat, Gehlot added that Union ministers, MLAs or MPs give speeches and therefore their voice is easily recognizable.
Shekhawat, a senior BJP leader from Rajasthan, has denied his involvement in the case and rejected claims that one of the voices on the three audio clips being probed by the police is his.
Gehlot dismissed Shekhawat’s defence and said that the truth will win in the end.
“Still, the first reaction always is ‘it wasn’t my voice’. They are also threatening people. Nothing is going to work. Satyamev Jayate,” the news agency quoted him as saying.
Gehlot has upped the ante against Shekhawat and demanded that he subjects himself to the investigation in the case of alleged horse trading of MLAs aimed to overthrow his government. He and his party has accused BJP leaders of hatching the alleged plot in connivance with Congress rebels led by Sachin Pilot, the former deputy chief minister and head of the party’s state unit.
Gehlot even wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Sunday naming Shekhawat as one of the BJP leaders allegedly involved in the act. He also referred to Sachin Pilot and MLAs supporting him as “over ambitious leaders” in his own party, who were purportedly hand in glove with the BJP to bring down his government.
Sachin Pilot has denied involvement with the BJP and rejected conjectures that he may join the party soon.
The BJP leaders in Rajasthan have, however, rejected Gehlot’s accusations and said his government was in trouble due to internal differences with his own party and alleged failure in governance.
Gehlot’s government is also locked in a legal battle with Sachin Pilot and his followers over a disqualification notice served to 19 party rebels by the assembly speaker. The Rajasthan High Court is expected to announce its verdict on a petition filed by Pilot, challenging the disqualification notices. Congress has also petitioned the Supreme Court in the same case asking it to prevent any interference in the proceedings before the speaker takes a decision on the matter. The SC, however, refused to stop the high court from announcing its verdict in the case.