Sachin Pilot Sends Legal Notice To Congress MLA On Rs 35 Crore Bribery Allegation

Sachin Pilot Sends Legal Notice To Congress MLA On Rs 35 Crore Bribery Allegation

Jaipur : 

Sachin Pilot, whose open revolt in Rajasthan has left the Ashok Gehlot government near collapse, served a legal notice to Congress MLA Giriraj Singh Malinga on Tuesday over allegations that the sacked deputy chief minister offered him money to join the BJP.

Sources close to Mr Pilot confirmed the notice had been served - for false and malicious statements made by Mr Malinga to the press a day earlier.

On Monday Mr Malinga had told reporters in Jaipur: "I had a discussion with Sachin Pilot. He spoke to me and said how much do you want. He told me Rs 35 crore".

"This has been happening since December, it is nothing new. I told them I cannot do this," he said, adding that he had spoken to Mr Pilot "two-three times".

Mr Pilot, who is contesting his disqualification from the Rajasthan Assembly in the High Court, dismissed the allegation as "baseless and vexatious" and said he would take "strictest possible legal action".

Akash Yadav: The workouts showed nobody breaking a sweat. At stake, though, is Mr Gehlot's government. And the weighty issue of whether the Congress will lose Mr Pilot, often flagged by his party as proof that young leaders apart from Rahul Gandhi are allowed big play.

Though the Congress insists it is still open to welcoming back Mr Pilot into its fold, provided he "return without preconditions", that appears to belong in the slim-to-none category of possibilities. Mr Pilot was sacked as No 2 in Mr Gehlot's government, has been publicly accused by the Chief Minister of colluding with the opposition BJP to bring down his government, and has gone to court to ward off his party's attempt to disqualify him and the 18 MLAs siding with him from being disqualified as members of the Rajasthan assembly.

Last week, Mr Gehlot suggested that Mr Pilot has benefited from bubbly valuations of his abilities, declaring that "being handsome" and "speaking good English" are not the metrics of true leadership. To that list today, he added "baby face" and "worthless."

Mr Pilot went rogue on the Congress after he was asked by the state police, which reports to Mr Gehlot, to answer allegations about bribes being offered to Congress legislators to incentivize them to move to the BJP and end Mr Gehlot's term as Chief Minister. The young politician left Jaipur and has refused to return; he has said that any reconciliation has to be premised on his replacing Mr Gehlot as Chief Minister. The Congress has said it cannot entertain that condition but is willing to work with Mr Pilot to find a suitable role for him.

When Mr Pilot began his revolt, he said he had 30 MLAs with him. So far, that number seems to stand at 18. The gap is enough to give the Congress reason to believe it can comfortably survive his departure.

Artical - Akash Yadav

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