City Reports

After SOG arrests 2 men, Rajasthan ACB initiates probe against 3 MLAs for “horse-trading” attempts

July 11, 2020, 6:17 pm

CM Ashok Gehlot Deputy CM Sachin pilot Rajasthan37443545

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Ex-deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot. File Photo

Jaipur: A day after Rajasthan special operations group (SOG) registered an FIR suspecting a conspiracy to topple the state government, another state agency – Anti Corruption Bureau – has initiated a preliminary enquiry (PE) against three independent MLAs. The SOG has also arrested two men who were allegedly involved in horse-trading of Congress MLAs for toppling the Ashok Gehlot government, according to preliminary reports.

According to reports, the ACB probe was initiated on the suspicion that the three MLAs were involved in ‘horse trading’. It is alleged that the three MLAs contacted other legislators and offered them a hefty amount of money. Sources said that the ACB may call these MLAs for questioning under different sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday accused the BJP government of attempting to ‘topple’ the government. He alleged that the BJP had no dignity.

“When the state machinery is struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, these people (the BJP) are trying to topple the government. It’s very unfortunate,” said Gehlot.

He said that his cabinet ministers are forced to waste their time and energy on saving the government.

Naming some senior BJP leaders in the state including Gulab Chand Kataria, Rajendra Rathore and Satish Poonia, Gehlot said that these politicians have been exposed before the people of the state.

“They are offering Rs 10 crore in advance and then Rs 15 crore. The state has never witnessed this type of horse-trading practices,” said Gehlot.

An MLA from Banswara district refuted the claims of the government and said that nobody from the BJP has contacted her.

“No one has contacted me. Our phones are being tapped,” she was quoted as saying.

BJP leader Rajendra Rathore said that the script used in the FIR registered by the SOG has been written by the government itself. They are using the police machinery for political gains. It’s a conspiracy against the BJP, he alleged.

According to reports, the SOG on Friday issued notices to chief minister Ashok Gehlot and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot to record their statement after registering an FIR with regard to the alleged attempts to topple the government.

Two men, identified as Ashok and Bharat, were detailed by the SOG on the basis of their phone conversations. The officials said that further investigation is going on.

First published: July 11, 2020