BJP demands CBI probe into Rajasthan ‘horse-trading’ video tapes

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra questions if the Congress government in Rajasthan is illegally tapping phones of politicians to make the claim

SDambit Patra, Rahul Gandhi
The court’s decision proves that law is equal for everyone, said Sambit Patra, taking a potshot at Rahul Gandhi I File Photo

The BJP on Saturday (July 18) demanded to know if the Congress government in Rajasthan was stealthily tapping phones of politicians and demanded a CBI probe into the allegations of horse-trading made by the Congress against it.

The Congress on Friday (July 17) had released transcripts of audiotapes of an alleged conversation between rebel Congress MLAs and BJP leaders to dismantle the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan. Reading out the transcript to the press, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had accused Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat of orchestrating the coup.

Lashing out at the Congress, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said senior Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Gehlot, have been claiming that these audio clips are authentic even though the FIR registered by police does not say so.

“These are serious questions that we want to ask the Congress high command and Ashok Gehlot. Was phone tapping done? Assuming that you’ve tapped phones, was the SOP followed? Did the Congress government in Rajasthan use unconstitutional ways to save themselves when they found themselves cornered?” Patra asked at a press conference.

“People of Rajasthan want to know whether their privacy has been compromised,” he said, asking if phones of people related to politics are being tapped.

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Calling it a “saga of illegalities and concocted lies” Patra demanded an immediate reaction from the state government and called for a CBI investigation into the matter.

The Congress on Friday suspended rebel MLAs Bhanwarlal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh from the primary membership of the party while demanding the arrest of Sharma and union minister Shekhawat for their alleged attempt to topple Gehlot’s government.

Shekhawat has denied the charge, saying his voice is not in these clips. He said he was ready to face any probe.

(With inputs from agencies)