The Special Operations Group of Rajasthan Police on Monday asked Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to appear for questioning for his alleged role in trying to topple the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan, the Hindustan Times reported.
The Congress had released the transcript of the audio clips, which surfaced on social media, claiming it revealed his role in the conspiracy. Shekhawat, however, has repeatedly rejected the allegations and said he was prepared to be investigated. “The voice on the audiotapes is not mine,” he had said last week. “I am ready to face any investigation.”
“A notice has been served to the minister through his personal secretary,” said Ashok Rathore, additional director-general of police, SOG, Rajasthan.
On Friday, the Congress suspended dissident MLAs Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh after a purported audio clip of them conspiring to bring down the state government with Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat emerged on social media. The Congress also demanded a warrant against Shekhawat.
The Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau has filed a case against the suspended MLAs on a complaint made by Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi. A special police team has also been formed to investigate the case. One suspect was arrested on Saturday.
- The Political Fix: Is Sachin Pilot’s rebellion a sign of Congress failure – or Gehlot’s success?
- Rajasthan crisis: Congress says courts have no jurisdiction over the disqualification of any member
On Sunday, a team of the Special Operations Group of Rajasthan Police reached a resort in Haryana’s Manesar on Sunday to get voice samples of Bhanwar Lal Sharma. However, the staff at Best Western Resort did not open the gates and the police left after waiting for nearly 20 minutes. This was the second time in three days the police went to question the dissident MLAs supporting Sachin Pilot amid the political crisis in the state. Earlier, a five-member Rajasthan Police had visited the ITC Grand Bharat in Manesar in connection with the case.
The BJP has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry to check whether the Congress government in the state had tapped phones. However, the Congress rebutted the allegations and called for an independent investigation into the saffron party’s “nefarious activities” in Rajasthan. “Every day, a new layer comes out exposing the direct links of the BJP in creating some kind of a crisis [in the state],” party spokesperson Pawan Khera claimed.