NEW DELHI/JAIPUR: The BJP's demand for a CBI probe into the audio tapes that showed a conspiracy to topple the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan "amounted to admission of guilt" and it was now clear that the party was behind the rebellion by Sachin Pilot and others, the Congress said on Saturday.
The Congress also cited Pilot and other rebel MLAs taking shelter in a hotel in the BJP-ruled Haryana to allege the saffron party's involvement in "horse-trading".
"We all witnessed over the last week the daylight murder of democracy being attempted by the BJP...everyday a new layer comes out exposing the direct links of the BJP in creating some kind of a crisis in Rajasthan....Their (BJP's) only grievance is that when they were murdering democracy, why were they being recorded and if...it was legal," Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told a virtual press conference in Delhi.
Earlier in the day, the BJP asked if the Congress government in Rajasthan resorted to "unconstitutional" methods to tap phones of politicians and demanded a CBI probe into what it called a "saga of illegalities and concocted lies".
"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 standard operating procedure followed? Did the Congress government in Rajasthan use unconstitutional ways to save themselves when they found themselves cornered?" BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra asked at a press conference.
The BJP spokesperson demanded an immediate reaction from the state government and called for a CBI investigation into this "saga of illegalities and concocted lies".
Hitting back, Rajasthan minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said Patra "is a generator of lies".
Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Singh Dotasra said the BJP spokesperson made "an unsuccessful attempt to save face".
Dotasra said if the BJP was not involved in it why a Rajasthan Police team probing the audio tapes was not allowed to enter the hotel in the BJP-ruled Haryana till the rebel MLAs were moved elsewhere.
"The SOG (Special Operation Group) team had gone to Haryana for investigation but the Haryana Police did not cooperate," he added.
The Congress sought response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the matter.
The Congress on Friday demanded the arrest of BJP leader and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and rebel Congress MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma after two audio clips surfaced pertaining to the alleged conspiracy to topple the Gehlot government.
The BJP had described the audio clips as "manufactured".
Shekhawat has denied the charge too, saying the voice in these clips was not his.
He said he was ready to face any probe.