Rajasthan political crisis update: HC asks speaker to hold off on action against Pilot while adjourning the hearing, verbal duet on continue over ‘phone tapping’
The interim order of the high court came minutes before the deadline set by speaker CP Joshi’s office for responding to the notice was to expire.
The dramatic escalation of Congress’s crisis in Rajasthan over the past few days does not seem to calm down as Sachin Pilot and the dissidents led by him dragged the party to the courts of law against a move to disqualify them as MLAs.
Two judges of the Rajasthan High Court on Friday asked assembly speaker CP Joshi to hold off on action against Sachin Pilot and the 18 MLAs who were issued disqualification notice this week. The court, which was hearing Pilot’s petition to the disqualification notice, will resume hearing the case on Monday. Sachin Pilot and 18 MLAs will not be disqualified by the speaker at least till Tuesday.
In their writ petition, the legislators argued that they had neither given up their membership of the House nor did their failure to attend the two Congress legislature party meetings make them liable for disqualification on the grounds of defection. For team Pilot winning the court battle is way important. If the rebel MLAs get disqualified, the majority mark will drop making it easier for Gehlot to blow away.
In another development, the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police has registered two first information reports (FIRs) against two incriminating audiotapes in which a Congress MLAs is purportedly talking to a middleman and a person named Gajendra Singh about toppling the Ashok Gehlot-led government.
The Rajasthan Special Operations group has arrested Sanjay Jain over the leaked audiotapes that have gone viral on social media in connection with the MLAs’ poaching case. The Rajasthan Police Special Operations Group (SOG) team have to leave the ITC Grand Bharat Hotel in Manesar as they couldn’t find suspended Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma there. A large number of Haryana police also showed up at the resort in a likely build-up to a showdown with the visiting cops from Rajasthan. The Congress has said that Mr Pilot has deliberately chosen to put up the rebels at hotel in BJP ruled Haryana. Sources close to Mr Pilot also wondered if he could trust the Congress’s assurances anymore. They said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke to him on Tuesday and said she would speak to Rahul and Sonia Gandhi in terms of his conditions but after 3 hours later, he was sacked from his post in Rajasthan.
BJP and Congress in a verbal duel over phone tapping of politicians in the state.
An independent investigation must begin into BJP’s nefarious activities in Rajasthan, says Congress.
An independent investigation must begin into BJP's nefarious activities in Rajasthan.
Who is providing all this black money & where did it come from? pic.twitter.com/ihAz0MfvMG
— Congress (@INCIndia) July 18, 2020
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter of phone tapping in connection with Rajasthan political crisis and raised several questions from the Congress whether they indulged in phone tapping.
“We demand a CBI probe into this matter, whether phone tapping was done or SOPs were followed. Is there an emergency in Rajasthan? Are all political parties being targeted this way?” said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra while addressing the media.
#RajasthanPoliticalCrisis: BJP's Laxmikant Bhardwaj has filed a complaint against Congress leaders Mahesh Joshi, Randeep Surjewala, and others, at Ashok Nagar Police Station, over a manufactured audio clip and false statements by Congress. pic.twitter.com/MOEthLTIrI
— ANI (@ANI) July 17, 2020
“State Government should answer whether they indulged in phone tapping as Chief Minister and their other leaders are saying the audio is authentic whereas in FIR it is mentioned as purported,” he added.
Patra questioned whether the phone tapping was done by authorized agencies by following due process of law and subject to approve safeguards and SOPs.
The BJP spokesperson continued saying that the political drama of the Congress party in Rajasthan is unfolding every second. It is a cocktail of conspiracies, concocted stories, manufactured lies and illegalities.