Ashok Gehlot hits out at BJP on 'poaching' attempt

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Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday said that a complaint has been lodged with special operations group (SOG) to probe alleged attempts to topple the state government by poaching Congress legislators through money transfers.

Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, the opposition party in the state, the CM said at a press conference, “In Rajasthan, if the BJP leaders are making calls to Congress and independent MLAs, what should we call it,” in an apparent reference to the toppling of Congress governments in Karnataka and then Madhya Pradesh.

This has come after Congress chief whip in the state assembly Mahesh Joshi filed a complaint with the anti-corruption bureau on Wednesday, seeking action against those allegedly trying to topple the government.

Reacting to deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot’s statement that he had not received any complaint of horse trading, Gehlot said, “I am the leader of the house and the chief minister and if something has been learnt, it would have come from a source. How can this be disclosed?”

Hitting out the BJP of indulging in politics amid the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic, Gehlot said, “They toppled the government in Madhya Pradesh and now something similar is being planned in Rajasthan. They (BJP) are exposed in public.”

Meanwhile, state Congress president Pilot said the party has a comfortable mandate to win two of the three seats in the Rajya Sabha elections. “Both the party candidates will win and there is no doubt on this,” he said.

Congress spokesperson and the Rajasthan observer for Rajya Sabha elections Randeep Surjewala said, “There is no compulsion on any legislators and they all want to stay together. If someone comes to your house to commit theft then you will safeguard your house from thieves. If thieves are coming to steal democracy then it is our responsibility to protect democracy.”

BJP spokesperson Mukesh Pareek said, “The horse trading word is used by Congress and they have such history. People connect with BJP for its ideology. Congress leaders have lost faith in their leadership, and the party is blaming BJP for this.”

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