Over 20 Congress MLAs in Rajasthan on late Friday night alleged the BJP was trying to topple the Ashok Gehlot government in the State by “luring” legislators, and that the top leadership of the saffron party was involved in the “conspiracy“.
There was no immediate reaction from the BJP on the charges.
Without naming anyone, the Congress MLAs in a joint statement alleged that the BJP leadership is trying to “mislead” the Congress and supporting party MLAs by contacting and luring them in different manners.
“But Congress MLAs and legislators who are in support of the government will not let this attempt be successful,” said the joint statement issued on behalf of 24 MLAs, and signed by chief whip Mahesh Joshi and deputy chief whip Mahendra Chaudhary.
The MLAs alleged that similar unsuccessful attempts of poaching Congress and the supporting MLAs were made during the Rajya Sabha polls last month, and the BJP is once again conspiring to weaken and topple the democratically-elected government in Rajasthan.
They condemned the alleged attempts and expressed commitment that such forces will be defeated.
“The MLAs have said that no one can shake their integrity by giving any temptation. The Congress government in Rajasthan will complete its five-year term,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, two persons were booked on charges of sedition and hatching criminal conspiracy for their alleged involvement in horse-trading of Congress MLAs ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections last month.
The case was lodged following surveillance of their mobile phones and the identity of the political leaders who were in touch with them is being ascertained, said Additional Director General Ashok Rathore of Rajasthan Anti-Terrorist Squad and Special Operation Group on Friday.
“Mobile phone of anti-social elements were put on surveillance. Based on the interception of two phones, some facts have come to fore that they and some others might be involved in the horse-trading of MLAs,” Mr. Rathore told reporters. “An FIR has been registered against the two persons and a few others,” he added.
A case has been registered under IPC sections 124-A and 120-B. Mr. Rathore said a probe is underway to ascertain the identity of the political leaders, who were in contact with these persons.
A manhunt has been launched to nab the duo, while a probe is on based on another complaint lodged by Congress Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi.
In the Assembly of 200, the Congress has 107 MLAs and has the support of independent MLAs and legislators of other Parties like Rashtriya Lok Dal, CPI(M) and Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP).
Ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections for two seats in the State last month, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Government Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi had alleged that the BJP was trying to poach Congress and other MLAs to destabilise the government.