JAIPUR/NEW DELHI: Despite a setback in the Supreme Court, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot remained in an aggressive mood on Thursday. A day after the Enforcement Directorate raided his brother's residence in Jodhpur, Gehlot claimed that the Congress is "not scared of raids by central agencies" and re-asserted his government has a majority in the Assembly – in spite of the Sachin Pilot-led revolt raging in the state.
Asserting that the central agencies were being misused, Gehlot asserted, “The ED, CBI and IT may be very active in our state but we are not scared or worried about their raids. These people are trying to destroy democracy. They may have been able to misguide some of our colleagues but people will never forgive them.”
Attacking the BJP for trying to bring down his government, Gehlot said the audio clips leaked last week which reveal the "conspiracy to topple the Congress government" are genuine and authentic. "Still, the first reaction always is 'it wasn't my voice'. They are also threatening people. Nothing is going to work. Satyamev Jayate," Gehlot told reporters in Jaipur.
CM Gehlot further said the audio clips can be sent abroad for tests. He remarked, "If they think they don't trust Rajasthan government, then they can send the audio-tapes to FSL agency in the US for a voice test. They should step forward and undergo a voice test. Union Ministers/MLAs/MPs give speeches so everyone knows it is their voice."
Gehlot also defended his letter to PM Modi and claimed he wrote to the PM as it's a democracy. Gehlot asserted, “I wrote it so that he doesn't later say that he didn't have information or his people gave him incomplete information. I wrote it so that if I meet him, he doesn't say that he didn't know about it.”
With the Supreme Court refusing to stay the proceedings in the case of Sachin Pilot and other rebel MLAs in the High court, the Rajasthan CM indicated that a session of the Rajasthan Assembly may soon be convened though he did not spell out any specifics. “The Vidhan Sabha will soon be functional and we will discuss the Corona situation, the political situation, and all essential matters in the Assembly soon.”
The Central team that is in Jaipur reportedly briefed Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday about the developments in the state, said party sources. The team informed the High command that Gehlot as of now has numbers on his side and his government will survive but BJP is also working hard to woo party MLAs and Independents supporting Gehlot with money and ministerial berths.
The party high command was informed that till the SC gives a decision in the matter, MLAs will be staying in the Hotel to avoid poaching by BJP, said party sources. Regarding rebel party leader Sachin Pilot, they were told that the door should remain open for his return if the former Rajasthan PCC Chief gives up his demand for the CM post. "But then CM's post is non-negotiable as of now and that there is nothing that Pilot is likely to agree to at central level," added a senior party leader.
In a further indication that a session of the Assembly may soon be called, the new PCC Chief, G S Dotasara confirmed that “the cabinet has authorized the Chief Minister to call a Vidhan sabha session whenever he deems fit. Whenever the CM wants, he can request the Governor to convene the Vidhan sabha session.”
Meanwhile, the Sachin Pilot camp still remains missing. But in a significant move, an MLA of the group, Prithviraj Meena has filed a petition before the Rajasthan High Court to make the Central Government a Party Respondent to the writ petition filed by Pilot and 18 other MLAs. All eyes are now focused on the Rajasthan High Court which is slated to give an order on the petition on Friday.