Rajasthan imbroglio: BJP, Congress now slug it out over controversial audio clips

Controversial Rajasthan audio clips a bone of contention as BJP, Congress slug it out
Rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot. (PTI Photo)

Sanjay Jain, who the Congress claim is a BJP leader, was arrested on Friday after his name surfaced in a viral audio recording about horse-trading of legislators to topple the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in addition to denying the charge, has lashed out at the state government for authorizing the phone tapping of its members. It has demanded a CBI probe into what it considers 'illegalities'.

Jain was arrested by the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police after a complaint lodged by the Congress Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi related to horse-trading of MLAs and registration of an FIR under sedition charges. The FIR mentions two more names – Congress MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma and Gajendra Shekhawat.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is a BJP leader from Rajasthan who is currently serving as Union Cabinet Minister in Ministry of Jal Shakti. He is an MP representing Jodhpur in the Lok Sabha.

The Congress has also suspended Bhanwarlal Sharma along with another dissident MLA Vishvendra Singh (who was earlier sacked from his post) for plotting to bring down the government in the state.

Pilot camp gets 4-day breather

Sachin Pilot and other Congress dissidents on Friday got a four-day reprieve from any action by Rajasthan Speaker on the disqualification notices served on them, as the high court extended the hearing into their petition to the next week.

The Rajasthan High Court will resume the hearing at 10 am on Monday and Speaker C P Joshi will not take any action on the disqualification notices till 5.30 pm on Tuesday.

In the writ petition, the MLAs said that they continue to owe allegiance to the Congress and are not seeking to defect to any other party. But the petition made clear that they opposed the manner in which Gehlot functioned.

They claimed that the Speaker acted hastily in sending them the notices.

Outside the courtroom, the Congress and its government in Rajasthan acted tough, even sending a police team to a hotel in Gurgaon's Manesar where the dissidents are supposed to be holed up.

Pilot was sacked as deputy chief minister and the president of the state unit of the party after he rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

(With inputs from PTI)

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