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‘Vasundhara Raje helped me save the govt in 2020 as I didn’t support the toppling of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat govt’: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

"Amit Shah, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Dharmendra Pradhan conspired together to topple my government. They distributed money in Rajasthan and they are not taking the money back now," claimed Gehlot

On Sunday, 7th May 2023, amidst the ongoing political tension between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Congress leader Sachin Pilot, Gehlot claimed that three BJP leaders, including former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, had helped him save his government during the revolt by Congress MLAs led by Sachin Pilot in 2020. Speaking at an event in Dholpur, Gehlot mocked the rebel Congress MLAs and suggested that they should return the money they had allegedly taken from the BJP if they wish to carry out their duties without any pressure.

He credited the survival of his government to Vasundhara Raje, former assembly speaker Kailash Meghwal, and MLA Shobharani Kushwah.

He said, “Amit Shah, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Dharmendra Pradhan conspired together to topple my government. They distributed money in Rajasthan and they are not taking the money back now. I am surprised that they are not demanding the money back from them.”

Ashok Gehlot further said, “I have even told the MLAs that whatever money they have taken, Rs. 10 crores or Rs. 20 crores, if you have spent anything, I will give that part or I will get it from AICC (All India Congress Committee).”

Gehlot also accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah of using intimidation tactics if the money was not returned, citing an example of how he allegedly divided Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Gehlot emphasized that it was his duty to lead the party for a third time, ensure that everyone is united, and focus on the upcoming assembly elections later this year.

Ashok Gehlot claimed that Vasundhara Raje helped him save his government as a reciprocal measure because earlier he didn’t support the toppling of the BJP government led by Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Gehlot added that he didn’t support that move of his party because it was unfair. It is notable that in 1996, the Congress party tried to topple the BJP govt led by Shekhawat by offering money to a few MLAs when the CM had gone to the USA for treatment, but it was not successful.

Former Congress leader Bhanwar Lal Sharma had led the attempt by managing to get the support of a small number of BJP MLAs and Independents who were supporting the BJP govt and had kept the MLAs captive so that they can’t revert their position. But a BJP MLA he contacted, Rangji Meena, turned out to be loyal to Shekhawat, who escaped the captivity and made an ISD call from an STD booth to the CM to inform him about the ongoing attempt to overthrow his govt. As a result, the party took swift action, the CM returned to India against the advice of doctors, and the BJP govt was saved.

In July 2020, Sachin Pilot, then Deputy Chief Minister and 18 other Congress MLAs revolted against Gehlot. The crisis was resolved after the intervention of the party’s high command. Sachin Pilot was removed from the post of Deputy Chief Minister and State Congress President.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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