Friday, April 19, 2024

In letter to PM Modi, Ashok Gehlot alleges ‘despicable attempts’ to topple his elected govt

Ashok Gehlot

New Delhi, July 22: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the attempts to destabilize the elected Congress government in the state and has alleged poaching by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Gehlot has also named Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in his communication to the Prime Minister. The ongoing power tussle between Gehlot and his erstwhile deputy Sachin Pilot has now entered its second week.
In his letter, reportedly written on Sunday, Gehlot wrote, “There have been despicable attempts to destabilize elected governments through horse-trading. I don’t know to what extent you are aware of all this or whether you are being misled.”
Locked in a bitter power struggle with his former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot that has almost led to the collapse of the government in the desert state, Gehlot wrote to PM Modi alleging that the ruling party at the Centre had made attempts to offer money to Congress MLAs to defect.
“For some time, attempts are being made to destabilize democratically elected governments. This is an insult to the mandate and open violation of constitutional values. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are examples of this,” Gehlot wrote in the letter.
The Chief Minister has accused Sachin Pilot of seeking the BJP’s help to topple the Congress government in Rajasthan just like the modus operandi adopted in Madhya Pradesh, where former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia’s defection to the BJP led to the collapse of the Kamal Nath government in March, this year.
Sachin Pilot, who has gone to court over a disqualification notice, has served a legal notice to Congress MLA Giriraj Singh who alleged that he had been offered Rs 35 crore to cross vote in Rajya Sabha elections, news agency ANI had reported.
Pilot has asked for a sum of Re 1 and a written apology before the media for the “false and frivolous allegations” within seven days. On Monday, Giriraj Singh Malinga said at the talks held at Pilot’s house he was offered money to switch to the BJP. The MLA said he subsequently told chief minister Ashok Gehlot about the plan.
Pilot had then said that he was “saddened but not surprised” and called the allegations against him of offering money to a party MLA to cross over to the BJP as “baseless”. (HT)