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Congress MLA alleges Vasundhara Raje link to arrested horse trading ‘agent’


The intense political intrigue unfolding in Rajasthan through allegations and counter allegations– ranging from horse trading aimed at toppling Ashok Gehlot government to illegal phone tapping by the state– has now caught former chief minister and BJP stalwart Vasundhara Raje in its crosshairs, following suggestions by a Congress MLA that one of the accused arrested for allegedly enticing Congress MLAs into rebellion had been invoking her name, according to news agency ANI.

“Sanjay Jain (arrested by SOG, Rajasthan Police) had come to me eight months back. He had asked me to meet Vasundhara ji and others. There are other agents like him but they didn’t succeed in their attempts. Sanjay Jain had been active for a long time,” Congress MLA Rajendra Guda was quoted as saying by ANI.

Guda, however, didn’t explicitly state the nature of the offer to meet Vasundhara Raje.

Also Read: Cooking tips, yoga keep Ashok Gehlot’s MLAs busy at Rajasthan hotel

Vasundhara Raje has been reticent during the current political turmoil triggered by Congress leader and former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and his follower MLAs’ rebellion against the Gehlot government. Her reaction on Saturday, alleging that the BJP was unfairly being targeted for the discord in the Congress and that the state was paying for it, was her first widely-reported comment on the current situation.

Hanuman Beniwal, a Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MP from Nagaur had earlier alleged that Raje was involved in efforts to save the Gehlot government from behind the scenes. RLP’s three MLAs support the BJP in the state assembly.

On Saturday, Vasundhara Raje reacted to such allegations and said she was a loyal BJP worker for the last three decades and was committed to the party ideology.

“Some people are continuously trying to spread confusion over Rajasthan’s political situation. I have served the people as a loyal BJP worker for over three decades and I stand with the party’s ideology,” she tweeted.

The present development comes amid a raging blame game over alleged illegal phone tapping of politicians by the state within the larger tussle for political power between the Congress and the BJP.

Also Read: BJP demands CBI probe into Rajasthan phone tap

Leader of opposition in Rajasthan assembly and senior BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria alleged on Sunday that chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s OSD (officer on special duty) could have been involved in illegal phone tapping.

“Government has a right to tap phones but only after bringing it into the knowledge of and with approval from the Home Department. No private person is authorised to do it. Some Lokesh Sharma, who is said to be OSD to CM, had done it. He’s not authorised, he violated law,” Kataria was quoted as saying by ANI.

Kataria was referring to two audio clips doing the rounds of social media cited by Congress as evidence of BJP’s involvement in alleged inducement of Congress MLAs with an aim to bring down Ashok Gehlot government. The Congress has alleged that union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is heard on the tape. Both Shekhawat and the party, have denied the allegations and demanded a CBI probe in the matter to get to the bottom of “unauthorised” phone tapping by the state.

The Congress has responded to the demand by saying it amounted to an admission of guilt by the BJP.

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