Jaipur, July 28: Expelled Congress legislator Bhanwar Lal Sharma, who is siding with sacked former deputy CM Sachin Pilot, moved the Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday with a plea seeking a central probe into the alleged horse-trading case. Sharma, in his petition, appealed the bench to order a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Sharma's plea also sought the dismissal of FIR registered against him by the Special Operation Group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police. Since the SOG falls under the Home Department - headed by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot - the MLAs of Pilot camp allege that the probe against them is farcical and politically motivated. Mayawati's Party to File Plea in HC Tomorrow Against Merger of 6 BSP MLAs With Congress.
Update by ANI
#Rajasthan MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma files petition before High Court seeking National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe in alleged horse-trading case. The petition also seeks to quash Special Operations Group (SOG) FIR registered against him in the case. pic.twitter.com/XasEYyJQqS
— ANI (@ANI) July 28, 2020
Sharma, an MLA from Sardarshahar constituency of Rajasthan, was booked by the police earlier this month after his voice was allegedly part of the purported audio intercepts which indicated a plot to topple the Gehlot government. His primary membership with the Congress was also terminated after the release of audio tapes.
The SOG probe found that "crores" were allegedly offered to dissidents within the Congress ranks to engineer defections. According to Gehlot, the evidence suggest that Pilot was also actively involved in the conspiracy to bring down his government in the state.
Assembly Speaker CP Joshi had issued disqualification notices to 19 rebel MLAs earlier this month to the rebel MLAs for their alleged involvement in anti-party activities and defying a "whip" to attend the legislative party meetings called by Gehlot.
The action by Speaker was, however, stayed by the Rajasthan High Court. The Congress had subsequently moved the Supreme Court, but decided to retract the petition on Monday and settle the dispute politically.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 28, 2020 08:38 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).