and Jodhpur MP
said on Sunday that the “fabricated audio clip released last week by the
Congress was engineered by chief minister
to avenge the defeat of his son in 2019″.
In the Lok Sabha polls last year for the Jodhpur seat, Shekhawat had defeated Gehlot’s son and
candidate Vaibhav by about 2.7 lakh votes.
The minister at the centre of the raging controversy told TOI in an exclusive interview at his Mother Teresa Crescent Road residence in Delhi that the contents of the tape were “malicious and defamatory”. He added, “Neither the voice (in the recording) is mine, nor the accent. I have heard the entire conversation in the three audio clips. The person who is being referred to as ‘Gajendra’ has the accent of a man from the Sri Ganganagar region while I speak with a heavy Jodhpur Marwari accent. Second, it’s laughable that content in the clip is being seen as seditious in nature.”
The Congress last week released three audio clips that purportedly had conversations revolving around the proposed overthrow of the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan. Shekhawat was alleged to have been one of the three men doing the talking, the other two being Congress MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma and one Sanjay Jain. Later two FIRs were filed in the matter.
Responding to the name ‘Gajendra Singh’ figuring in the FIR, the Union minister said, “The source of the recording is unverifiable. The case is being built against me only to bully and instill fear in the minds of Congress MLAs held at the Fairmont hotel in Jaipur by Gehlot to thwart a potential rebellion. There is no probe by the Rajasthan government regarding how and where that audio originated on social media or who recorded it. Instead of verifying the clip’s veracity, authenticity or even its source, CM Gehlot has chosen to send his state cops to record my statement and collect my voice sample out of vendetta for 2019. He wants to send a message to his MLAs that if he can frame a Union minister, he can frame them too.”
The two-time MP, who was first inducted into the Narendra Modi cabinet in 2017 after his win from Jodhpur, disclosed that Gehlot sent Rajasthan Police personnel to his Delhi house at 2am two days ago but they left f