The Congress on Friday alleged the involvement of Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in the conspiracy to topple its government in Rajasthan and demanded his immediate arrest if a probe by the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the State police confirmed misuse of office by him, which it said was “prima facie clear”.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said at a press conference in Jaipur that audio clips of purported conversations between a rebel Congress MLA and Mr. Shekhawat had revealed the latter’s role in the conspiracy, which involved payment of bribes, exchange of black money and hawala transactions. The SOG should register a first information report and launch investigation, he said.
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The Congress leader also demanded registration of criminal cases against dissident MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma and BJP leader Sanjay Jain, who allegedly acted as a middleman, on the basis of their reported conversations with Mr. Shekhawat. The audio clips were made public on Thursday night.
Mr. Surjewala announced the suspension of Mr. Sharma, who represents Churu district’s Sardarshahar constituency in the Assembly, and Vishvendra Singh, who has been sacked as the Tourism Minister, from primary membership of the Congress.
While alleging a conspiracy by “influential people” in the Union government and its agencies to topple the State government, the Congress demanded that rebel leader Sachin Pilot , dismissed as Deputy Chief Minister, clarify his stand on a specific allegation that he had provided a list of MLAs to the BJP .
Newly appointed Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Singh Dotasra said the BJP, which had earlier toppled the governments in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, had this time selected a “wrong State” for its conspiracy. He said the Congress government in Rajasthan would complete its full five-year term.
Later, the SOG registered a first information report against Mr. Shekhawat and others on a complaint filed by Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi alleging their role in attempts to topple the Congress government.