Jaipur | Jagran News Desk: Amid the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, the Congress on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of horse-trading in alleged audio sting, demanding an FIR against Union Minister Gajendra Shekhawat. The BJP, however, countered the Congress' claims, saying the party is attempting the "character assassination" of its leaders.

"What happened today was shameful for the politics of Rajasthan. Chief Minister's residence becoming a centre of fake audio and attempting character assassination of leaders. Attempts have been made to drag Central Ministers in the matter," said Rajasthan BJP President Satish Poonia, as reported by news aency ANI.   

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, meanwhile, said that he is ready to face investigation, adding that the it was not his voice in the purported audio clip being shared by the Congress.

Earlier in the day, senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala had said that the party has decided to suspend MLAs Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh from primary membership of the party, issuing show cause notices to them.

“I demand that an FIR is registered by SOG against Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and a probe is initiated into the tape. If it is suspected that he could influence the probe, then a warrant should be issued and he should be arrested immediately,” ANI quoted Surjewala as saying.

Catch all the LIVE updates on Rajasthan political turmoil here

Surjewala also demanded that Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma and BJP leader Sanjay Jain should be booked, saying that it should be probed as to “who arranged the 'black money' to bribe the MLAs and who were given the bribe”.

Launching an attack at Sachin Pilot, Surjewala said that the former deputy chief minister should come forward and make his stand public on the allegations of providing MLAs' list to the BJP.

The Congress on Thursday released three audio clips purporting to be of "horse-trading" discussions between Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and an MLA of Sachin Pilot's camp.

The party claimed that the audio clips are of conversations between the BJP's Shekhawat and Pilot loyalist Bhanwarlal Sharma, adding that Shekhawat was in contact with the Congress MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma through Jaipur resident Sanjay Jain.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan High Court on Friday will hear Sachin Pilot and 18 MLAs’ challenging the notices from the Speaker over a Congress move to disqualify them from the state assembly.

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 Speaker of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.

Rajasthan Congress continues to remain in turmoil after simmering differences between Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot came out in the open. Pilot was, on July 14, also sacked from the posts of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and state PCC president.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma