The Manesar Police on Friday briefly stopped a Special Operations Group of the Rajasthan Police from entering a hotel in Gurugram where dissident Congress MLAs who support former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot are staying, PTI reported. The Rajasthan Police team was in Manesar to question MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma, after audio clips surfaced of alleged political manoeuvering to bring down the state government.
The Rajasthan Police vehicle was stopped outside the hotel for almost an hour. Subsequently, it was allowed to enter, but left a few minutes later, television clips showed.
Additional Director General of Police (Special Operations Group) Ashok Rathore said the team was told at the reception that the MLA was not present at the hotel. The team then left for the second hotel where the legislators are purportedly holed up.
After the team’s entry into the first hotel was stalled for close to an hour, the Congress alleged that this was evidence of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s plan to topple its government in Rajasthan. “If BJP claims not being involved in Congress’ internal fight, then why is BJP-led Haryana government extending their support and protection to MLAs inside the hotel?” All India Congress Committee General Secretary Avinash Pande said.
Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed in a tweet that the Haryana Police blocking Rajasthan Police from entering the hotel was “naked proof” of BJP’s “collusion” in a plot.
Sachin Pilot was sacked as the Rajasthan deputy chief minister and as the Congress’ state unit chief on July 14, after he rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and proceeded with a bunch of MLAs to Delhi. The following day, Assembly Speaker CP Joshi disqualified Pilot and 18 other legislators. The dissident legislators filed a petition in the Rajasthan High Court, which on Friday directed the Speaker not to take any action against them till July 21.
Earlier on Friday, the Congress suspended dissident MLAs Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh for allegedly plotting with the BJP to overthrow the government in Rajasthan. Surjewala cited an audio in which the leaders were purportedly in conversation with Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The Congress also demanded a warrant against Shekhawat.
Shekhawat however rejected the allegations and said he is willing to be investigated.