Wednesday 1 February 2023
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PoliticsIndiaPilot denies offering bribe to INC MLA for defection to BJP

Pilot denies offering bribe to INC MLA for defection to BJP

Sachin Pilot has strongly denied allegations by a Rajasthan Congress MLAs that he was offered money by the former deputy chief minister to defect to the BJP as part of his attempts to topple the Ashok Gehlot government in the state. “I am saddened but not surprised to be at the receiving end of such baseless and vexatious allegations being levelled against me,” Pilot said in a statement released this evening. He added that he would take legal action against legislator Malinga for the bribery accusation.

Pilot said the charge was a bid to malign him and stifle the legitimate concerns that he had raised against the party leadership of the state. “This attempt further aims at defaming me and attack my credibility. The narrative is being redirected to avoid addressing the main issue. I will be taking appropriate and strictest possible legal action against the MLA who was made to make these accusations. I am sure more such concocted allegations will be thrown at me to cause aspersions on my public image. But I shall be unfettered and remain firm in my beliefs and convictions,” he said.

Malinga slings a big one at Pilot

Pilot’s statement arrived just hours after Malinga said that the former had offered money to him to join the BJP in talks that were held at the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister’s residence. He claimed he had subsequently alerted Chief Minister Gehlot about the conspiracy to topple the government in Rajasthan.

“I had a talk with Sachinji. He offered me money to join the BJP, but I refused, saying I will not join the party,” Malinga told reporters in Jaipur. He did not disclose the amount that he was allegedly offered to join the saffron party.

Asked if it was between Rs 30 crore and Rs 35 crore, Malinga said he was offered the “going rate”. He said he would not join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) even after resigning as an MLA. “How will I face the people of my area? What will I tell them?” he asked.

The former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA from Badi, along with five other legislators of the Mayawati-led party, had joined the in September last year. The lawmakers had handed over affidavits to state Assembly Speaker CP Joshi to merge the legislative party with the INC.

‘Prove that’s my voice’

Meanwhile, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has challenged the allegation by the that he was engineering defections in their organisation, seeking proof that the audiotapes that the Rajasthan Congress chief whip cited to accuse the Union water minister of indulging in horse-trading.

In Jaipur, Chief Minister Gehlot today tried to play down the stature of Pilot, saying his former deputy, “whom I had once trusted”, was nikamma (useless) and nakara (worthless).

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