Amid the ongoing political turmoil in Rajasthan, BJP leader and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje took on the Congress party for making the people suffer due to its infighting as a question mark looms over the future of the Ashok Gehlot-led government following a bitter feud between the chief minister and his former deputy Sachin Pilot.
"It is unfortunate that the people of Rajasthan have to bear the brunt of the infighting in Congress," she said in her first comments on the political crisis that has engulfed the grand old party in the state.
"They are attempting to put the blame on BJP," said Raje who had so far maintained silence on the unfolding crisis.
The Congress on Tuesday had sacked Pilot from the posts of Rajasthan's deputy chief minister and the party's state unit chief, two days after he openly revolted against the Gehlot-led government. Cracking the whip on the rebel leader, the party also removed his loyalists Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena from the state cabinet.
AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala announced the decision after a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting held in Jaipur amid a tussle for power between Pilot and Gehlot.
Raje again took to Twitter later in the day to express her support for her party.
"Some people are constantly trying to spread illusions without any facts about the political developments. I have been serving the public as a loyal worker of the party for the last three decades and stand with the party and its ideology," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
#Rajasthan के राजनीतिक घटनाक्रम पर कुछ लोग बिना किसी तथ्यों के भ्रम फैलाने की लगातार कोशिश कर रहे हैं। मैं पिछले तीन दशक से पार्टी की एक निष्ठावान कार्यकर्ता के रूप में जनता की सेवा करती आई हूं और पार्टी एवं उसकी विचारधारा के साथ खड़ी हूं।@BJP4India @BJP4Rajasthan— Vasundhara Raje (@VasundharaBJP) July 18, 2020
Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) leader Hanuman Beniwal on Thursday had accused Raje of "trying to save the minority Ashok Gehlot-led government" in the state.
"Raje is also making a strong effort to save the minority government, she has also made calls to many Congress MLAs about this," the BJP ally had said on Twitter, tagging BJP, party president JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Raje went on to list the many problems facing the people of Rajasthan.
"At a time when COVID-19 has claimed more than 500 lives and positive cases are close to 28,000, locusts are attacking farmers fields, crimes against women are at an all-time high, when there is a problem of electricity across the state, and I'm only naming a few of the problems faced by our people," she said.
"Think of the people!!!!!" she ended the statement, posted on Twitter, in which she took no names.
Meanwhile, Gulab Chand Kataria, Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly, said Gehlot should prove that he has the numbers in the state assembly.
"We don't demand a floor test, but if Ashok Gehlot thinks he has a majority, he should prove it in Assembly," he said at a press conference.
The responses came days after the crisis began with the registration of an FIR by Rajasthan Police's Special Operations Group (SOG) on Friday last week in connection with a conspiracy to topple the state government. The SOG had issued notices to the chief minister, the deputy chief minister and the government's chief whip Mahesh Joshi for recording their statements.
The Congress has accused the BJP of trying to topple the Gehlot government and has alleged that Pilot and 18 other MLAs are involved in the conspiracy.