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  4. Ashok Gehlot behind phone tapping, leak of audio clips of Shekhawat, alleges ex-OSD

Ashok Gehlot behind phone tapping, leak of audio clips of Shekhawat, alleges ex-OSD

Clips of alleged telephone conversations between Union Minster Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Congress leaders surfaced amid a rebellion against Gehlot by his then-deputy Pilot and 18 party MLAs supporting him in 2020.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Jaipur Updated on: April 25, 2024 18:44 IST
Former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot
Image Source : PTI Former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Ahead of the second and final phase of polling in the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan, former chief minister Ashok Gehlot's ex-OSD Lokesh Sharma on Wednesday dropped a bombshell by claiming that the clip of an alleged telephone conversation between Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and some Congress leaders on "toppling" the state's Congress government in 2020 was given to him by Gehlot.

Giving a surprise twist to the alleged Sachin Pilot revolt 2020, he shifted the probe angle towards Gehlot. Earlier, Sharma claimed that he had got three clips from social media and forwarded those to news organisations.

The ex-OSD said, while speaking at a press conference, showed his laptop, a pendrive and a paper allegedly received by then CM Gehlot. He said he is ready to provide these pieces of evidence to the probe agency if he is asked.

"I did not get the audio clip from social media. The then-chief minister Ashok Gehlot had given me all these audio clips through this pen drive and asked me to circulate those to the media. I followed his instructions," Sharma claimed while showing a pen drive to the reporters.

Gehlot, who is campaigning for his son Vaibhav Gehlot in the Jalore Lok Sabha seat, could not be contacted for comments.

Sharma also accused Gehlot of hatching a conspiracy to tarnish the image of Shekhawat and the then-deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot.

He alleged that the former chief minister put the phones of Pilot and other Congress leaders under surveillance, was involved in the Rajasthan Teacher Eligibility Test (REET) paper leak and kept the party high command in the dark.

The Delhi Police registered an FIR against Sharma in March 2021 on charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and unlawfully intercepting telephonic conversations on a complaint by Shekhawat.

Sharma approached Delhi High Court to quash the FIR. In June 2021, the high court granted an interim stay on coercive action against Sharma.

He further claimed that he followed Gehlot's instructions and did not disclose the source of the clips despite questioning by the Crime Branch.

Sharma alleged he was assured full cooperation by Gehlot when a case was registered against him. However, he was neglected and faced mental torture due to the case and the questioning.

Clips of alleged telephone conversations between Shekhawat and Congress leaders surfaced amid a rebellion against Gehlot by his then-deputy Pilot and 18 party MLAs supporting him.

Sharma had circulated the clips purportedly containing conversations about "toppling" the Congress government.

Ashok Gehlot's reaction

Reacting to Sharma's allegations, Ashok Gehlot has said that he is unaware of the revelations. "I do not know what revelations he has made, I don't get into such things. The environment in the country is such that who will leave the party when and will join the BJP, so one shouldn't be worried about who says what, but look at what is the truth", said the former Chief Minister.

Also read: Congress announces candidates for Telangana, Andhra, pits Mohd Sameer Waliullah against Owaisi in Hyderabad 

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