A major dispute has arisen between the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP in Rajasthan, with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot once again accusing the latter of trying to topple his government in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Gehlot said on Saturday that though huge sums of money were being offered to the Congress MLAs, his government was stable and would complete its term.
In the meantime, Congress party’s State chief and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot has gone incommunicando.
The Congress has issued a whip to all its legislators, making it mandatory for them to be present at a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting scheduled at 10.30 a.m. on Monday in Jaipur. Mr. Pilot has said in a statement released through his media adviser that he would not attend the CLP meeting.
Here are the latest updates:
Rajasthan Congress leaders question timing of I-T raids
Rajasthan government chief whip Mahesh Joshi on Monday condemned the income tax raids on premises linked to two Congress leaders.
“I condemn this. The raids are uncalled for and intended at threatening but we are not going to be distracted or scared by this,” he said.
Cooperative Minister Udailal Anjana also questioned the timing of the raids.
“This was done to create pressure. It apparently looks like leaders who are sitting in Delhi are behind these raids,” he said.
An update on income tax raids:Sources confirm the office and residence of Congress leader Dharmendra Rathore and Rajiv Arora, a member of State Congress Office, are also being searched.
Both of them are believed to be close to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
A costly slip
Even as the CLP meeting is underway, Chhattisgarh in-charge P.L. Punia created flutter by claiming Sachin Pilot was with BJP now. In a few minutes, he clarified he meant Jyotiraditya Scindia, a former Congress leader now in the BJP.
“It is clear in the video that question was asked about Scindia ji and my reply was about Sh Scindia and by slip of tongue I took Sachin Pilots’ name instead of Scindia. Mistake is regretted,” he tweeted.
Here is the ANI video
#WATCHSachin Pilot is now in Bharatiya Janata Party. Everyone knows BJP’s attitude towards Congress party. We don’t need a certificate from BJP. In Congress Party, all leaders and workers are respected: AICC general secretary in-charge of Chhattisgarh, PL Puniapic.twitter.com/kQNd77J2cK
— ANI (@ANI)July 13, 2020
Ministers and MLAs were seen gathering at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s official residence in Jaipur.
The CLP meeting is expected to formally begin shortly.
I-T raids in Delhi, Jaipur in tax evasion case against Rajasthan group
The Income Tax Department is conducting searches in four cities, including Delhi and Jaipur, in connection with a tax evasion case against a Rajasthan-based jewellery group, officials said on Monday.
They said the raids have been launched early morning in Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai and Kota. Official sources did not comment on reports claiming that the searches were linked to the current political crisis in the State.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Chhattisgarh, P.L. Punia toldANI: “Sachin Pilot is now in Bharatiya Janata Party. Everyone knows BJP’s attitude towards Congress party. We don’t need a certificate from BJP. In Congress Party, all leaders and workers are respected.”
#WATCHSachin Pilot is now in Bharatiya Janata Party. Everyone knows BJP’s attitude towards Congress party. We don’t need a certificate from BJP. In Congress Party, all leaders and workers are respected: AICC general secretary in-charge of Chhattisga