Rajasthan political crisis: Audio in viral clip not my voice, ready for probe, says Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Friday (July 17) dismissed the horse-trading allegations by Congress and said the audio in the purported clip, which has surfaced on social media and is going viral was not his voice. The Union Minister added that he is ready to face any probe into the matter and will appear before the investigative agency if asked.
“I am ready to face any investigation. The audio doesn’t have my voice,” Shekhawat was quoted.
The statement from the Union Minister came a day after audiotapes surfaced on social media of an alleged conversation between a rebel Rajasthan Congress MLA and a Union Minister over how to topple the Rajasthan government. As per Congress, the alleged conversations in the purported audiotapes are between three people – MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Jaipur resident Sanjay Jain.
Earlier on Friday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala addressed a press briefing where he announced that the party has suspended Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh from primary membership of the party after they were found to be conspiring with BJP against the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan. He added that the party has issued show-cause notices to the two MLAs.
“Action against Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh came after the former was heard on tape discussing with BJP leader and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on how topple the state government,” Surjewala said during the address.
Surjewala demanded an FIR against Shekhawat by Rajasthan Special Operations Group (SOG), stating, “A fair investigation against him and if there are proofs for misusing position (which seems so at first instance), he should be arrested immediately.”
He demanded that an FIR be registered against suspended party MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma, who belongs to the Pilot camp, and BJP leader Sanjay Jain, for allegedly being involved in horse-trading.
The Congress spokesperson demanded a fair investigation into the black money coming into Rajasthan. “Who sent the money, from where it came, did it come via Hawala are issues which need to be investigated,” he said. He also demanded Pilot to come forward and clarify his position in the matter of ‘MLAs list’ being discussed in the audio tape, which was released on Thursday evening.
Rajasthan Congress continues to remain in turmoil after simmering differences between Sachin Pilot and CM Ashok Gehlot came out in the open. Pilot was, on July 14, also sacked from the posts of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and state PCC president.
CM Gehlot accused the BJP for attempting to destabilise the state government by poaching MLAs.
A controversy broke out in Rajasthan after Special Operation Group (SOG) sent a notice to Pilot to record his statement in the case registered by SOG on the alleged poaching of Congress MLAs in the state.