After the Gehlot government accepted allegations of phone tapping in Rajasthan, the demand for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s resignation has been getting more vocal.
The government has accepted tapping phones in a written reply to a question asked in the assembly. In the reply it has noted “In the interest of public safety or public order, and to prevent the occurrence of a crime which might risk public safety or public order, telephones are intercepted after an approval by a competent officer under the provisions of section 5(2) of The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and section 419 (A) of The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, 2007, as well as section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.”
No details have been provided about the numbers tapped or the duration of the tapping.
Senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot’s faction in the party, as well as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, are demanding Gehlot’s resignation.
It was a leaked phone conversation between a Union minister of Bharatiya Janata Party and some leaders of the Sachin Pilot faction which precipitated the political crisis in Rajasthan in July last year.
Then Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot had rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Pilot had alleged his phones were being tapped on the instructions of the chief minister.
Pilot’s supporters in the party had also rebelled against their own government.
After the political drama of a few days, Pilot backed down. A truce was reached. But Pilot lost Deputy Chief Ministership and also the presidency of the party in Rajasthan.
The tension between the two factions of the Congress is still brewing.
It is expected the Pilot camp will make some big moves in the next few days.