Union minister Shekhawat and dissident lawmaker Sharma had issued separate statements and denied the charges levelled against them and termed the audiotapes as “fake” and blamed chief minister Gehlot for the trump-up charges.(Sonu Mehta/HT file photo)
Union minister Shekhawat and dissident lawmaker Sharma had issued separate statements and denied the charges levelled against them and termed the audiotapes as “fake” and blamed chief minister Gehlot for the trump-up charges.(Sonu Mehta/HT file photo)

Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat served notice, directed to record statement

“A notice has been served to the minister through his personal secretary,” said Ashok Rathore, additional director-general of police (ADP), SOG, Rajasthan.
Hindustan Times, Jaipur | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2020 11:40 AM IST

The special operations group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police has served a notice to Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for his alleged bid to destabilise the Ashok Gehlot-led government and directed him to record his statement, an official said.

“A notice has been served to the minister through his personal secretary,” said Ashok Rathore, additional director-general of police (ADP), SOG, Rajasthan.

Last Friday, the SOG had registered two separate first information reports (FIRs) after Congress chief whip in the Rajasthan assembly Mahesh Joshi had lodged a complaint about three audiotapes that had surfaced the previous evening and quickly went viral on social media.

Also read: Rajasthan HC resumes hearing on Sachin Pilot, 18 other rebel Congress MLAs’ plea

The leaked audiotapes purportedly contained elaborate conversations between a rebel Congress lawmaker and others, including one Gajendra Singh, who could be heard discussing strategies to topple the Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan.

The FIRs had identified the rebel Congress legislator from Sardarshahar, Bhanwar Lal Sharma, who has since been suspended by the party, and Sanjay Jain, a networker and known for his proximity to politicians cutting across party lines and also the bureaucracy.

Jain was arrested by the SOG on Friday night and is being interrogated.

The persons named in the FIR have been booked under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code, Rathore said.

Also read| Rajasthan ‘horse trading’ probe: Jain had Rs 100 crore budget to buy 3 MLAs, claims police

Minister Shekhawat and dissident lawmaker Sharma had issued separate statements and denied the charges levelled against them and termed the audiotapes as “fake” and blamed chief minister Gehlot for the trump-up charges.

“The voice on the audiotapes is not mine. I am ready to face any investigation,” Shekhawat had said last week.

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