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NEW DELHI: Training his guns at BJP, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday alleged that the BJP tried to do in Rajasthan what it did in Madhya Pradesh but failed. The chief minister said, “Sachin Pilot backstabbed Congress. He is ambitious”, adding that Pilot had been conspiring for the past six months in connivance with the BJP.
Here are the top developments:
* “Pichle saat salon me koi bhi aisa nahi milega jisne maang ki ho ki Pilot sahab ko hatana chahie Pradesh Congress Committee adhyaksh se. Hume pata tha vo Nikamma hai, Nakara hai. Kuch kaam nahi kar raha hai. Khali logon ko ladwa raha hai (In the past seven years, you won’t find anyone in the party who demanded the removal of Pilot as PCC president even though we knew he was useless, good for nothing and that he wasn’t doing anything except making people fight among themselves),” Gehlot told reporters.
* “Nobody believed me when I used to say that there is a conspiracy is going on to topple the state government. Nobody knew that a person with such an innocent face will do such a thing. I am not here to sell vegetables, I am the chief minister,” said Gehlot.
* Rajasthan Congress MLA Giriraj Singh Malinga on Monday claimed that Sachin Pilot offered him money to join BJP but he refused. “I alerted Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot ahead of Rajya Sabha polls about a conspiracy to topple the government,” said Malinga.
HC hearing plea challenging disqualification notices
* Meanwhile, hearing resumed on Monday on a petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs against disqualification notices issued to them by the Rajasthan assembly speaker before Jaipur Bench of Rajasthan High Court.
* Senior lawyer Abhishek Singhvi, representing Rajasthan speaker CP Joshi, today told the Rajasthan High Court that assembly speaker’s order can be challenged only on the limited ground but those grounds aren’t there in the petition.
* The hearing before the Assembly Speaker in the disqualification matter has been deferred till Tuesday in view of the hearing before the High Court.
* On Friday, Prateek Kasliwal, appearing for state legislative assembly speaker CP Joshi, said that the petitioners’ lawyers Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi concluded their arguments. The hearing was then scheduled to be continued at 10 am on Monday.
* A division bench of the Rajasthan High Court, headed by Chief Justice Indrajit Mohanty, had on Thursday deferred the hearing on the matter to Friday after Sachin Pilot camp sought to amend their petition against the disqualification notice.
* Pilot and the MLAs from his camp approached the Rajasthan High Court over disqualification notice seeking the quashing and setting aside of the show cause notice issued to them on July 14 by the assembly speaker.
* The development came after Rajasthan assembly speaker Joshi sent notices to Pilot and 18 MLAs under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, popularly known as the anti-defection law after chief’s whip application for their disqualification. MLAs were earlier asked to present before assembly speaker on July 17.
* If these MLAs fail to respond to the notice then the Speaker can proceed ex parte and disqualify them from the Assembly.
* The Congress complaint and the Speaker’s notice came after Pilot and the lawmakers supporting him skipped Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meetings on July 13 and 14. Following absence at CLP meeting, Pilot was sacked from the posts of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and state PCC president.
SOG continues investigation in audio clips
* On Monday, Union Min Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that he wants the Rajasthan police to first check the authenticity of the audio clips and asked “with whose permission was it recorded? Who recorded it?”. The Union minister said that his doors are always open for any kind of enquiry. Shekhawat’s statement came.
* On Saturday, Special Operation Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police had served a notice to Shekhawat to record his statement in the audio clip case over alleged attempts to topple the Congress government in Rajasthan. The summons under CrPC Section 160 was sent to Shekhawat’s personal secretary via Whatsapp.
* As per Rajasthan police, they sent the notice to Shekhawat based on the interrogation of Sanjay Jain who was arrested in the same case.
* Last week, Rajasthan Police had registered two FIRs lodged by Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi about two audio clips which had gone viral on social media.
* While one FIR mentioned Gajendra Singh, Jain and MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma, the other FIR was unnamed though the conversation is allegedly between Gajendra Singh and former tourism minister Vishvendra Singh.
* According to the FIR, the duo was heard talking about an exchange of money and one of the callers claimed that ‘their people sitting in Delhi have already received the first instalment of cash payment’. The same person claimed that he will be travelling from Agra. The two then talked about deciding the future action.
* A controversy broke out in Rajasthan after SOG first sent a notice to Pilot to record his statement in the case alleging poaching of Congress MLAs in the state.
* Other than Pilot, the SOG had also served a notice to CM Gehlot to submit his statement in the alleged conspiracy to topple down his government by poaching of MLAs.
* Pilot taking offence at the notice, came out in open rebellion boycotting the CLP meet which led to his sacking followed by assembly speaker’s disqualification notices, which Pilot challenged in Rajasthan HC.

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