Former Gehlot Aide Claims Rajasthan CM Ordered Phone Tapping to Defame Union Minister

Rajasthan ex-CM Gehlot's former aide alleges illegal phone tapping, REET paper leak, and corruption, raising political storm ahead of state polls.

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Rafia Tasleem
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Former Gehlot Aide Claims Rajasthan CM Ordered Phone Tapping to Defame Union Minister

Former Gehlot Aide Claims Rajasthan CM Ordered Phone Tapping to Defame Union Minister

Lokesh Sharma, the former officer on special duty (OSD) to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, has made explosive allegations against his former boss. In a press conference on Monday, Sharma claimed that Gehlot ordered the phone tapping of Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and other Congress leaders in 2020 in an attempt to defame them.

According to Sharma, Gehlot personally handed him a pen drive containing audio clips of alleged conversations between Shekhawat and Congress leaders. Sharma alleges Gehlot instructed him to circulate the recordings to the media to prove that the BJP was trying to topple the Congress government in Rajasthan. "Gehlot sahab ne mujhe teen audio aur ek paper diya aur kaha ki ise media ko bhej do," Sharma said, playing a purported recording of his conversation with Gehlot.

The phone-tapping controversy erupted in July 2020 during a political crisis in Rajasthan when the Congress was running the state government. Sharma claims he followed Gehlot's orders and released the audio clips without disclosing their source, even when questioned by the Delhi Police Crime Branch, which is investigating the case. An FIR was registered against Sharma in March 2021 on charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, and unlawfully intercepting telephonic conversations based on a complaint by Shekhawat.

Why this matters: The allegations by Sharma, a close former aide of Gehlot, could have significant political ramifications in Rajasthan. The claims of illegal phone tapping and attempts to frame political rivals raise serious questions about the conduct of the highest levels of the state government.

Sharma further alleged that Gehlot was involved in the Rajasthan Teacher Eligibility Test (REET) paper leak in 2022 and kept the Congress high command in the dark on certain issues. He accused Gehlot of betraying him and not fulfilling promises of support in the phone tapping case. "I was used as a tool by Gehlot for his political gains," Sharma said. The former OSD stated he is ready to share evidence of corruption during Gehlot's tenure with the current government.

Gehlot has not yet responded to the allegations made by his former aide. The Congress party dismissed Sharma's claims, with a spokesperson saying he is in touch with BJP leaders and acting on their instructions. The allegations come just ahead of the final phase of voting in the Rajasthan state elections. Sharma said he decided to speak out now as he is troubled by repeated court appearances related to the phone tapping case filed against him.

Key Takeaways

  • Lokesh Sharma, ex-OSD to Rajasthan CM, alleges Gehlot ordered phone tapping of BJP leaders.
  • Sharma claims Gehlot gave him audio clips to circulate, aiming to defame BJP's attempts to topple govt.
  • Sharma alleges Gehlot's involvement in REET paper leak and keeping Congress high command in dark.
  • Sharma accuses Gehlot of betraying him and not fulfilling promises of support in phone tapping case.
  • Gehlot yet to respond, Congress dismisses claims, saying Sharma is in touch with BJP leaders.