Gehlot's fires fresh salvo against BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party had allegedly used Zafar Islam for horse-trading to destabilize the Congress government in Rajasthan in July.

 The Bharatiya Janata Party had allegedly used Zafar Islam for horse-trading to destabilize the Congress government in Rajasthan in July. The allegation, a serious one, has been levelled by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot against the Bharati ya Janata Party which, he said did not field a single Muslim candidate in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh elections but "used a Muslim to topple his government".

According to Gehlot, earlier this year the BJP had tried to engineer defection in his party. It was then alleged that after weaning away Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh the BJP had tried to get Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan's former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on its side. The "rebellion" by Pilot and 18 of his loyal legislators was managed by the Congress high command to foil the BJP's plot which would have finished off the party the way it was done in Madhya Pradesh.

Zafar Islam, Gehlot alleged, was assigned to do the hatchet job but did not elaborate on his exact role. The Rajasthan chief minister has claimed that Union minister Amit Shah, Dharmendra Pradhan and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat were in volved "in the conspiracy" to destabilize his government. The BJP denied any role in what it said was an internal matter of the Congress.

This is the first time that Zafar Islam, who was sent to Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh on BJP ticket, has been named by Gehlot. Described as BJP's "emerging Muslim face" Islam was earlier alleged to have been instrumental in Jyotiraditya breaking from the Congress to join the BJP.

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