‘BJP out again to topple my govt,’ alleges Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday again blamed the BJP for trying to topple his government, four months after a political crisis, triggered by the then deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot’s rebellion, was resolved. Gehlot had blamed the BJP at that time for engineering the revolt to pull down his government.

“They (BJP) conspire to topple the elected governments. In Rajasthan they are again starting the game – this is their thinking. People are also saying now that they are targeting Maharashtra,” said Gehlot after the inauguration of a new building of the party office at Shivganj Nagar area of Sirohi district. AICC general secretary Ajay Maken and state Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasara also participated virtually in the event.

“BJP earlier conspired to topple the government with money. Everyone saw how the MLAs (backing Pilot) met home minister Amit Shah in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan (minister), and Syed Zafar (now MP). The meeting went on for an hour. After the meeting, the MLAs said that they were embarrassed seeing a home minister offering sweets and namkeen,” Gehlot alleged.

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“All our senior leaders, such as Randeep Surjewala, Ajay Maken, KC Venugopal, and Avinash Pande, camped in the state and took the decision to dismiss the party leaders so that the government could be saved,” the CM said.

During the political crisis, Pilot was removed as deputy chief minister and Congress state chief on July 14. Two ministers in his camp were also dropped from the Gehlot cabinet.

An MLA, who was part of the rebel group, denied that they had met Amit Shah or any other BJP leader. “The CM is raising this issue as he is being asked by the leadership to expand the cabinet and make political appointments. These unwarranted statements are to delay the processes,” he said on condition of anonymity.

BJP MLA and spokesperson Ram Lal Sharma said, “Earlier also the BJP had never tried to topple the government. What all happened was due to their internal clashes. The CM stated that first the instalment has been received by the MLAs. Then why doesn’t he name his MLAs who received it? If the government falls, it will be because of their infighting.”

He said the allegations against BJP leaders are baseless. “Recently, a Congress MLA alleged that Rs 10 crore was given to other party MLAs to save the government. Why didn’t the CM get the issue probed?” Sharma asked.

Recently, a video purportedly showed Congress MLA Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya accusing two Bharatiya Tribal Party MLAs of receiving Rs 10 crore each during Rajya Sabha polls and Congress-Sachin Pilot feud. The alleged video of Malviya prompted the BJP to accuse Gehlot government of involvement in horse-trading.

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