Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that “despicable attempts” were being made by the Bharatiya Janata party to destabilise his government through horse-trading, ANI reported. Gehlot said Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was among those who were trying to bribe rebel Congress MLAs in his state.

Shekhawat’s name got drawn into the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan after a purported audio clip of two dissident Congress MLAs conspiring to bring down the state government with the BJP leader emerged on social media last week.

“For some time now, attempts are being made to destabilise democratically elected governments,” Gehlot wrote. “This is an insult to the mandate and open violation of constitutional values. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are examples of this.”

The chief minister alleged that at a time when saving lives from the coronavirus outbreak should be the top priority, BJP leaders like Shekhawat, along with “some members” of his own party, were busy making attempts to topple the Congress government. “When similar allegations were made in the past [against the BJP] for toppling the government in Madhya Pradesh amid the coronavirus outbreak, your party had to face national embarrassment,” Gehlot said.

The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh fell in March after the resignation of Jyotiraditya Scindia from the party that led to the exodus of 22 legislators. Scindia later joined the BJP.

The Congress government in Rajasthan has been on the brink of collapse after Pilot rebelled against Gehlot and proceeded with a few MLAs to Delhi last week. Pilot was sacked as the Rajasthan deputy chief minister and as the Congress’ state unit chief on July 14. The next day, Assembly Speaker CP Joshi disqualified Pilot and 18 other legislators. The party has accused the BJP of political manoeuvring to topple its government in the state.

On Monday, Gehlot claimed that Pilot was conspiring to topple his administration for the past six months. The chief minister said that Pilot was acting on behalf of the BJP and was given money, “backed by corporate houses from Mumbai”, to bring down the Rajasthan government. Gehlot added that he was in constant touch with party president Sonia Gandhi over the matter, but expressed doubt on the return of Pilot and the rebel MLAs to the party.