‘Fabricated stories’: Vasundhara Raje denies Ashok Gehlot’s claim she helped save govt in 2020

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot claimed that former CM Vasundhara Raje, along with former Assembly Speaker Kailash Meghwal and MLA Shobharani Kushwaha saved the Congress government during the 2020 crisis.

Ashok Gehlot, Vasundhara Raje
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje (Photo: Facebook)

Hours after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot claimed that former CM Vasundhara Raje had helped save his Congress government in 2020 by opposing the BJP’s attempts to bribe MLAs, the BJP leader dismissed his statement saying that it was a “lie” and “conspiracy” against her.

Addressing a programme in Dholpur district on Sunday, Gehlot claimed that during the 2020 crisis – when Sachin Pilot and 18 Congress MLAs had rebelled against him – Raje and former Assembly Speaker Kailash Meghwal and MLA Shobharani Kushwaha were not in “favour of toppling” the elected Congress government by giving bribes.

Gehlot said, “Former Chief Ministers of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Shobha Rani and Kailash Meghwal knew their party people were toppling the government. Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Kailash Meghwal had said that it has never been our tradition to topple the elected government on the basis of money. They did not support those who toppled the government due to which our government survived.”

Reacting to his claims, Raje responded saying, “The Chief Minister’s praise for me is a major conspiracy by him. To avoid a historic defeat in the 2023 elections, he is creating fabricated stories,” reported The Indian Express.

“He has made such outrageous statements because of the rebellion happening in his own party. As far as horse trading is concerned, Gehlot himself is the mastermind behind it,” she added.

This comes a day after Pilot reiterated his demand for a probe into alleged corruption cases during the previous BJP government regime led by Raje. He had gone on fast on April 11 demanding that the Congress government takes action on graft allegations against the previous BJP government.

Speaking in Dholpur, Gehlot further alleged that BJP leaders, including Shah, had “distributed money” in Rajasthan.

“When the crisis happened, Amit Shah, Dharmendra Pradhan and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat conspired together. They distributed money in Rajasthan. They are not taking back the money. I am worried, why are they not taking back the money?” Gehlot said in Dholpur.

“I have told our MLAs who took money — be it Rs 10 crore, Rs 20 crore, whatever they took and have spent — to return it to Amit Shah. If you keep his money, he will have a hold on you. He will threaten and scare, like in Gujarat … He threatened Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and split the party into two,” said the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the CM praised Congress MLAs Danish Abrar, Chetan Dudi and Rohit Bohra for saying his government in 2020.

He said that these three MLAs, BSP-turned-Congress MLAs and the Independents who had supported him and saved his government during the political crisis in 2020 deserved to be made ministers in his government but he could not do so due to political reasons and was sad about it.

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First published on: 08-05-2023 at 10:12 IST