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Friday, July 03, 2020

Ashok Gehlot alleges bid to topple govt, targets Modi and Shah

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said that preparations were done for holding Rajya Sabha elections in March “but they were suddenly postponed without a reason.

By: Express News Service | Jaipur | Published: June 13, 2020 12:57:18 am
ashok gehlot, sachin pilot, rajasthan government Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot at a press conference on Friday.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over alleged attempts to destabilise the state government during a pandemic.

Addressing a press conference alongside Congress state president and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot and AICC communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, Gehlot said that preparations were done for holding Rajya Sabha elections in March “but they were suddenly postponed without a reason. Then I had said that BJP’s horse-trading isn’t complete, hence the elections have been postponed. And now, when elections have resumed, it has come to the fore, where four persons [MLAs] have resigned in Gujarat.”

He said that everyone has to be united in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. “Those who conspire have to spend a lot of time, and to make plans. When they are caught up in it, how could they tackle corona? They spent all their might in toppling the government, and everyone saw the tamasha,” the CM said, addressing journalists at a hotel in Jaipur, where the party is keeping its MLAs.

“Till when will you make people fight each other in the name of caste and religion?” Gehlot asked. “When lives are endangered, even then all humans, and people of all parties, all religions and classes don’t come together, then how will you deal with Covid-19? Doesn’t PM Modi think this, doesn’t Amit Shah think this?”

He said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had written to the Prime Minister saying that Opposition parties were with him, “which means that everyone will deal with corona together… but even then, sabotage is in their nature; they are conspiring in Rajasthan.”

“So what Surjewala ji was telling you, the manner in which democracy is being murdered in the country, be it Narendra Modi or Amit Shah. The entire nation knows that two people are taking decisions, which is not a good tradition in a democracy,” Gehlot said.

He added, “Rahul Gandhi had cautioned on February 12, yet the government still changed in Madhya Pradesh. And before that they had created a tamasha in Karnataka.”

Gehlot said that Modi used to talk of making a Congress-free India, but it won’t happen since the party is in the “veins and DNA of the nation”. “But if Modi ji’s government and the party is wiped out sometime, then we shouldn’t be surprised because the people have seen their antics, their actions and their thinking, and how they walk with fascist thinking, how they don’t believe in democracy and are merely wearing a mask.”

Pilot said the party itself has the numbers to win both Rajya Sabha seats “comfortably” and is further strengthened by independent MLAs and those of other parties. “That our candidates K C Venugopal ji and Neeraj Dangi ji will win – no one should have a doubt about it,” he said.

Rajya Sabha elections are scheduled for three seats in the state. Voting was scheduled for March 26 but was postponed in light of the lockdown. It will now take place on June 19.

On June 10, the Government Chief Whip in Rajasthan Assembly, Mahesh Joshi, had written to the Anti-Corruption Bureau regarding attempts to “destabilise the government”. Gehlot on Friday said that a complaint has been lodged with Special Operations Group so that the “organised crime” aspect, regarding transfer of money, can also be investigated.

In an Assembly of 200, the Congress has 107 seats, including six MLAs who defected from BSP last year. It also enjoys the support of all 13 independents while Subhash Garg, who was elected on an RLD ticket, is a minister in the Gehlot government. Two MLAs of Bhartiya Tribal Party are also supporting the Congress.

Gehlot said the party has also written to CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury to seek support of the party’s two MLAs.

The BJP has 72 seats and is supported by Hanuman Beniwal-led RLP, which has three seats.

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