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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Two arrested in Rajasthan for offering money to MLAs, topple government

In the FIR accessed by Indian Express, the men are stated as discussing that by toppling the government, they can earn Rs 1,000 – Rs 2,000 crore but that this can happen only when the CM is as per their wish.

Written by Hamza Khan | Jaipur | Published: July 11, 2020 10:12:19 am
The FIR says that the conversations “make it clear that efforts are being made to purchase Congress and independent MLAs” through a feeling of hatred towards a “democratically elected government.” (File)

The Special Operations Group of Rajasthan Police has arrested two persons in an alleged bid to topple the Ashok Gehlot led Congress government by breaking away Congress and Independent MLAs by offering them Rs 20-25 crores each.

As per the FIR, lodged by the SOG in this regard on Friday evening and accessed by The Indian Express, the SOG had taken two numbers on surveillance to check smuggling of illegal weapons and explosive substances. “From the conversation on these numbers, it appears that attempts are being made to topple the government, and preparations were completed before the Rajya Sabha elections. In the conversation, it is said that Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister are having a fight; in such a situation, the ruling party MLAs and independent MLAs can be broken away to topple the government and a new CM will be put in place,” states the FIR.

The FIR also puts the spotlight on Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot: “But BJP says that CM will be our person and Deputy CM will be made a minister in the Central government while the Deputy CM says that he will be the CM – this has also appeared on the conversations.” Regarding Pilot’s Delhi visit ahead of the polls, the persons say that “big political decisions are being taken in Delhi and things will move quickly after June 30…that’s when his stars will shine and he will take an oath 5-10 days later.”

The men discuss that by toppling the government, they can earn Rs 1,000 – Rs 2,000 crore but that this can happen only when the CM is as per their wish.

The SOG says that according to its sources, it has also come to know that a BJP leader is trying to lure Independent MLA from Kushalgarh in Banswara, Ramila Khadiya, with money. In the telephonic conversations, the persons, who have not been named by the police, are also heard discussing Mahendra Jeet Singh Malviya, who is a Congress MLA from Bagidora in Banswara; they say that he earlier he was with Deputy CM but has changed paala (sides). SOG has also claimed that through its sources it has come to know that Rs 20-25 crore were also being offered to Congress and independent MLAs.

The SOG says that when the CM took MLAs to a resort ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, the persons say that their Rs 25 crore plan has failed. However, money was still being offered to MLAs – especially independent MLAs – as recently as 2-3 days ago. Training guns on the BJP, as many as 24 Congress MLAs also issued a joint statement overnight accusing the BJP of trying to topple the government.

The FIR says that the conversations “make it clear that efforts are being made to purchase Congress and independent MLAs” through a feeling of hatred towards a “democratically elected government.”

The FIR was lodged under IPC sections 124 A (sedition) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy). As per DGP Bhupendra Singh, the said numbers belong to Ashok Singh and Bharat Malani; Singh was arrested from Udaipur while Malani was arrested from Beawar.

On June 10, ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, Government Chief Whip in Rajasthan Assembly, Mahesh Joshi, had written a letter to the Anti-Corruption Bureau stating that he has come to know that “dirty attempts are being made to lure our MLAs and independent MLAs supporting us, along the lines of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, to destabilise a democratically elected government which is dedicated to public service.”

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