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Rajasthan election: Political suspense about the ‘Red Diary’

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Just a few months before the Rajasthan state election, a new political storm has broken out after MLA Rajendra Gudha was marshalled out of the assembly and removed from the post of minister after his statements against the state government’s failure to prevent crimes against women. During the uproar over the video of two women being paraded naked in Manipur, Rajendra Gudha had said, “It is true and should be accepted that we have failed in women’s safety. Instead of Manipur, we should look within ourselves why atrocities on women have increased in Rajasthan.”

MLA Rajendra Gudha walked into the state assembly and started to waive a ‘Red Diary’ which according to him would expose all the acts of Ashok Gehlot after which he was marshalled out of the house. He has also claimed that while marshalling him out of the assembly, he was assaulted and some Congress leaders snatched the diary and tore some of the papers from it. This has triggered a new political war between the ruling Congress party and the opposition party, BJP, who are said to be the favourites for the upcoming state elections.

According to Rajendra Gudha, the ‘Red Diary’ contains explosive information about Chief Minister Gehlot. He has said that the diary belongs to Dharmendra Rathore, a close aide of the CM and chairperson of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. It has been claimed that the diary includes details of pay-offs made by the Gehlot camp to MLAs, Independents and others to save his government during the 2020 rebellion led by Sachin Pilot. He has also claimed that the diary includes the details of money paid by Congress to ensure the victory of its candidates over the BJP-backed independent and media baron Subhash Chandra.

The Congress MLA has claimed that this diary was at the house of Mr Rathore at the time of an income tax department raid and that Gudha was able to retrieve the diary on the orders of CM Ashok Gehlot and was also allegedly asked by the CM to burn the diary. The Congress party has however come forward to reject these claims and has called the diary as fabricated.

Rajendra Gudha who is an MLA from Udaipurwati in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district. He was earlier with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party. In 2019, he was among six BSP MLAs who switched to the Congress party, providing it the added stability that helped it weather the 2020 rebellion.

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