All does not seem to be well in the Rajasthan Congress as fresh cracks have started reappearing with the police lodging an FIR against the media manager of former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and a Jaipur-based journalist.
The case pertains to the ‘phone tapping of Congress MLAs’ during their stay in a hotel in Jaisalmer amid the political crisis in the state in July-August.
Also, the ‘jan sunvai session’ (public hearing), which was started at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office in Jaipur on the initiative of Pilot, the then state party chief, has now been stopped. The session aimed at redressing public grievances by the in-charge ministers.
PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasara, however, told IANS that the public hearing has been curtailed in view of the Covid-19 spread. “We don’t want a crowd gathering at the PCC at this time. In fact, public hearing was not taking place since the last many months and now we have officially suspended it for some time till Covid-19 menace is there,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pilot on Thursday was on his way to Jodhpur with a massive convoy of supporters, which the Congress workers termed as his show of strength in the Chief Minister’s home constituency.
Pilot will meet Manvendra Singh to pay condolences on the death of his father, BJP leader Jaswant Singh, confirmed his media team.
Meanwhile, with reference to the FIR lodged at the Jaipur’s Vidhayak Puri police station against Lokendra Singh, the media manager of Sachin Pilot and Sharat Kumar, a Rajasthan-based senior journalist, Kumar told IANS said that it is not known why he was singled out in this complaint when he was the last person to report the phone tapping news. “It is clear why FIR has been lodged against me when many other media houses ran this news,” he added.
However, Lokendra Singh’s phone was switched off when IANS tried to contact him.
The FIR has been lodged under Sections 505 (1) (whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report), 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 76 of the Information and Technology Act (the Act allows police to confiscate any kind of gadget related to information sharing).
The police officials confirmed that they had summoned Lokendra Singh to the police station on Thursday along with his gadgets (laptop, mobile and computer), which were used for the information dissemination of the ‘phone tapping report’.
A senior party member confirmed to IANS that all is not okay within the two camps — one led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and the other by Sachin Pilot. While the first camp is unhappy with the induction of Pilot in the Rajasthan Congress, the latter camp is annoyed with the snatching of his as well as his staunch supporters’ portfolios.