Gehlot demands probe into `sex scandal'

Episode a question mark on the morality of BJP, says Congress leader

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has sought a probe into the hospitality extended by the Rajasthan Government to the MLAs from Jharkhand during their sojourn here in March this year. There seems to be a link between the allegation of rape against a Cabinet Minister in Rajasthan and the "entertainment'' of the MLAs who were brought here prior to the Bharatiya Janata Party proving its majority in Jharkhand, he said.

"The herding of the MLAs, first from Goa and then from Jharkhand, in farm houses and resorts in and around Jaipur had taken place under the supervision of the Chief Minister and that is what seemingly makes her apprehensive of any probe into the charges levelled against the Minister,'' Mr.Gehlot said. "The incident linking the Minister was seemingly part of the facilities provided to the guests as well as the dates coincide,'' he noted. The whole episode was a question mark on the morality of the BJP, which preached high values but practised none, he charged.

Reacting to the developments in the Rajasthan Assembly which led to an abrupt end of the monsoon session of the House in just three days, Mr.Gehlot told a group of media persons on Thursday that the Government's insistence that there would not be any probe into the allegations against the Minister had created more doubts in the minds of the people. The State Government's statements and responses kept changing ever since the issue surfaced recently, he observed.

"First the Government refused to acknowledge that there was any such incident. Then a case was registered and arrests were made. Curiously the Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister even arranged a press conference of the alleged victim to provide a clean chit to the accused Minister. All these have compounded the doubts about the whole episode,'' Mr.Gehlot said.

"We had somewhat a similar situation during the previous Congress regime when the Home Minister's servant had committed suicide. Without leaving any scope for speculation, the State Government handed over the case to the CBI. The National Democratic Government was in power at the Centre,'' he said. As the Minister involved had offered to subject himself to a probe, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje should not have had a problem in instituting one, he felt.

Terming the sine die adjournment of the House on Wednesday an attempt to escape from the hard realities faced by the public of Rajasthan, Mr.Gehlot said the Opposition MLAs, who had waited almost six months for raising the people's issues in the House, were grossly disappointed with the act of the Government.

"It is unfortunate that the Government did not want to face the Opposition in the House,''Mr.Gehlot charged.

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