Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to overthrow his government by offering Congress MLAs money amid the state’s fight against the coronavirus crisis, ANI reported.
Gehlot said that the Leader of the Opposition in Rajasthan, Gulab Chand Kataria, his deputy Rajendra Rathore and BJP State President Satish Poonia were trying to bribe Congress leaders in an attempt destabilise the state government. “They are offering Rs 10 crore [to Congress leaders] in advance and Rs 15 crore after the government is toppled,” Gehlot alleged.
The Rajasthan chief minister said that the BJP had “gone beyond humanity” in its attempts to throw him out of power. “The government in Rajasthan is stable, will remain stable and will last five years,” Gehlot said at a press conference, according to PTI. Gehlot said that the BJP had sabotaged governments in several states and now wanted to do the same in Rajasthan.
The latest political blame-game between the two parties in Rajasthan was triggered by a statement released by 20 Congress leaders on Friday, accusing the BJP of “luring” MLAs to switch sides.
The BJP, on the other hand, denied that it was involved in any such conspiracy. “The Congress government has failed to deliver and could not manage the COVID-19 crisis properly and is just trying to divert public attention,” BJP’s Rajasthan chief Satish Poonia was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Rajasthan police on Saturday issued notices to Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot to record their statement in connection with the poaching allegations, unidentified officials told the news agency. The police’s special operations group also sent a similar notice to the state government’s chief whip Mahesh Joshi.
Rajasthan Additional Director of Police Ashok Kumar Rathore told ANI that two people had been arrested in connection with the alleged conspiracy to destabilise the Congress government in the state.
Last month, the Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan had sequestered its legislators to a resort in Jaipur to counter the BJP’s alleged poaching attempts ahead of the elections to three Rajya Sabha seats on June 19. The Congress had won two of three seats from Rajasthan in Rajya Sabha elections, while the Bharatiya Janata Party secured the third.