A Congress MLA has linked the BJP’s former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to the alleged horse-trading in Rajasthan to topple the Ashok Gehlot government. Legislator Rajendra Guda said a man arrested in the case had approached him around eight months ago.
“Sanjay Jain had asked me to meet Vasundhara-ji and others,” Mr Guda said. “There are other agents like him but they didn’t succeed in their attempts. Sanjay Jain had been active for a long time,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Sanjay Jain has been arrested by the Special Operation Group, which is investigating the case.
The comment come amid another set of allegations from a BJP ally, which suggest that Ms Raje is helping the Ashok Gehlot government survive by sabotaging the rebel camp led by Sachin Pilot.
The tweet from Hanuman Beniwal, an MP of the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party and the representative of Nagaur in Lok Sabha, read: “Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has called up Congress MLAs close to her and asked them to support Ashok Gehlot. She has called each and every Jat MLA in Sikar and Nagaur and asked them to keep distance from Sachin Pilot, I have proof of this”.
Ms Raje, who has been silent so far on the Congress crisis, said there is “no point in trying to drag the BJP and BJP leaders’ names through the mud,” when the state is suffering from the coronavirus and the locust crisis.
A powerhouse of the BJP in the state commanding more than 45 MLAs, Ms Raje is a factor in the BJP’s challenge to fit in Sachin Pilot. Mr Pilot has made it clear that he wants to be the state’s Chief Minister.
Mr Pilot claimed he has the support of 30 MLAs — the number BJP needs to form an alternative government. The Congress has initiated a move to disqualify him and the 18 MLAs supporting him. The Team Pilot has challenged it in court, which is now hearing the issue.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has claimed that 109 MLAs are supporting him in the 200-member house, where 101 is the majority mark.
“We are more than 100 in number (MLAs),” Rajendra Guda was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “We have the majority. If we didn’t have majority, they (the BJP) would have demanded a floor test. They know that we have it, so they are not demanding floor test,” he added.
Last week, Rajasthan BJP chief Gulab Chand Kataria said the BJP will not see a test of strength for the Gehlot government now. “We do not feel such need (for a floor test) as of now. If we feel the need, the party (BJP) will sit together and make a decision,” said Mr Kataria.