New Delhi: After audiotapes, which the Congress cited as evidence of horse-trading in Rajasthan, a viral video involving assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi is creating a stir in the state’s political corridors.
In the video that surfaced late Wednesday night, Vaibhav Gehlot, son of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, and Speaker Joshi are purportedly discussing the rebel Congress MLAs and how they nearly brought the government down.
“If 30 MLAs left, you couldn’t have done anything. They would have brought down the government… The situation is tough,” the Speaker can be heard telling Vaibhav.
“And you could have done nothing except raise hue and cry,” he adds.
Vaibhav had gone to meet Joshi and wish him on his birthday Wednesday. He had also shared photos of this meeting on social media.
राजस्थान विधानसभा अध्यक्ष एवं आरसीए के मुख्य सरंक्षक आदरणीय डॉ. सी.पी. जोशी जी को उनके निवास स्थान पर जाकर जन्मदिवस की शुभकामनाएं दी। pic.twitter.com/1ywBd6akdo
— Vaibhav Gehlot (@VaibhavGehlot80) July 29, 2020
The video was also posted on the WhatsApp group of Rajasthan journalists run by the public relations officer of the Speaker. ThePrint could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.
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C.P. Joshi refused to comment on the issue. “I don’t comment on viral clips,” he told ThePrint.
Shows Speaker not neutral, must resign: BJP
The state BJP unit has now asked the Speaker to resign on moral grounds.
“As the Speaker, he should be neutral in the House. The video that surfaced yesterday is quite worrying,” said Satish Poonia, state BJP president. “If this is the truth, then one thing becomes quite clear that all this while Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been trying to establish his son (Vaibhav) for the past few years.”
He added, “Now it seems clear that even the Speaker is more concerned about saving the Gehlot government. It is better if the Speaker comes out and tells us the truth. The video looks genuine. I think on moral grounds he should not remain in this position.”
The state plunged into a political crisis after former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot declared a rebellion on 12 July, claiming to have the support of 30 MLAs. By the next day, however, he could not prove the support of more than 18 legislators.
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