Give voice samples, Gehlot tells Union Minister

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday demanded that Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat give his voice samples in a case being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for the alleged attempts to topple the Congress government in July 2020. The case is based on leaked audio clips of certain conversations.

The case was registered on the complaint of Congress leader Mahesh Joshi in connection with the audio clips in which some persons are heard discussing the steps to pull down the State Government by horse trading of MLAs. While Mr. Joshi had claimed that one of the voices in the audio tapes was that of Mr. Shekhawat, the Union Minister had rejected the allegation and said the tapes were fake.

Mr. Gehlot told reporters outside the Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters here that though Mr. Shekhawat's voice was audible in the audio clips, he had lodged a case with the Delhi Police against the CM's Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in connection with phone tapping.

“The Minister is trying to find ways to escape. He should give his voice samples which will make the things clear,” he said.

OSD Lokesh Sharma was interrogated by Crime Branch of Delhi Police for two-and-a-half hours on Monday in the case registered in March this year on Mr. Shekhawat’s complaint alleging unlawful interception of telephonic conversation. The Delhi High Court has granted interim relief from arrest to Mr. Sharma in the case till January 13, 2022.

Mr. Gehlot said the Home Minister and several other Union Ministers were involved in the conspiracy to topple his government. “All of them will be exposed in the investigation... They wanted to destabilise the Rajasthan Government, but their own MLAs did not support them. We received people's support and saved our Government during the crisis,” he said.

The audio clips of alleged conversations between Mr. Shekhawat, who represents the Jodhpur constituency in Lok Sabha, and some Congress MLAs went viral in July last year amid the political crisis caused by the rebellion staged by the then Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and18 party MLAs supporting him. It was alleged that Mr. Sharma had circulated the audio clips on social media platforms.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 7:04:00 PM |

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