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    BJP keeping a close watch; some party leaders bat for Sachin Pilot

    Synopsis

    The BJP leaders ET talked to said the differences within the Congress camps in Rajasthan had not been fanned by their party. They saw this as part of Gehlot’s move to put Pilot in his place which was initiated with the special operations group (SOG) investigating charges of trying to bribe Congress MLAs to break away from Congress.

    Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and deputy CM Sachin Pilot at an event earlier this June.
    New Delhi: BJP is closely watching the reported rift between Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot but has denied any attempt to topple the Congress government in the state.

    However, some BJP leaders appeared to be batting for Pilot as they slammed Congress for failing to keep its house in order and not rewarding its hard-working leaders.

    The BJP leaders ET talked to said the differences within the Congress camps in Rajasthan had not been fanned by their party. They saw this as part of Gehlot’s move to put Pilot in his place which was initiated with the special operations group (SOG) investigating charges of trying to bribe Congress MLAs to break away from Congress.

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    The SOG arrested two persons and claimed that Congress and independent MLAs were offered ₹20-25 crore. These charges had first surfaced during the Rajya Sabha elections in June.

    “If SOG has got the proof it should have shared it in public. This is a fight in the Congress party and they are trying to put the blame on BJP,” senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Om Mathur told ET.

    Another senior BJP leader from the state did not deny that some Congress MLAs from the state were in touch with the saffron party. “Everybody is in touch with everybody in public life. Nobody is hiding,” he said on condition of anonymity.

    In the midst of this political tussle, many BJP leaders expressed their sympathies for Pilot. Prominent among them was Pilot’s old Congress mate Jyotiraditya Scindia, who recently got elected to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh on a BJP ticket. Mathur echoed this sentiment and said Pilot had been not been given his due.

    Taking a dig at Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s tweet, Mathur said: “The horses will go where there are greener pastures.”
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