Phone tapping row: Supporters of Shekhawat, Mahesh Joshi in poster war

·3-min read

Jaipur, Jun 28 (PTI) After verbal sparring between Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Rajasthan government chief whip Mahesh Joshi over the Delhi police's notice to the latter in the phone tapping case, their supporters have started a poster war here.

Huge hoardings were put up at key places in the city in support of Joshi on Sunday with slogans like 'Har Anyay Ka Denge Jawab' (will respond to every injustice) and 'Yah Anyay Nahi Sahega Jaipur' (Jaipur will not tolerate this injustice).

On Monday, the supporters of BJP leader Shekhawat held a demonstration with a poster depicting Shekhawat as an elephant and his detractors as dogs.

“We held a demonstration against the chief whip who has been insulting the union minister instead of appearing before the Delhi Police,” Prem Singh Banwasa, who led the protest near civil lines railway crossing, said.

The Delhi Police Crime Branch had sent the notice to Joshi asking him to appear before it on June 24 for questioning in the phone tapping case lodged on a complaint by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

But the chief whip had refused to appear and sent a reply to the notice.

He also launched a scathing attack on Shekhawat and called him a fugitive. He questioned why he has not given his voice sample to the anti-corruption bureau in another case related to the phone tapping row.

Recently, they also engaged in a war of words on Twitter after Joshi visited Delhi and met AICC general secretary Ajay Maken.

Shekhawat commented that he should also go to the police headquarters in Delhi, and reacting to that, Joshi said if he should give the minister the address of the ACB.

The case was registered in March this year by Delhi police against the OSD to Rajasthan chief minister, Lokesh Sharma, on the complaint by Shekhawat, who is also the BJP MP from Jodhpur.

Lokesh Sharma had allegedly circulated the audio clips purportedly of conversation about toppling the state government between Shekhawat and Congress leaders amidst a rebellion against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot by his then deputy Sachin Pilot and 18 party MLAs supporting him.

On the basis of the audio clips, Mahesh Joshi had earlier registered cases with the special operations group (SOG) and anti-corruption bureau (ACB) of Rajasthan police in July last year, but the FIR did not mention that 'Gajendra Singh' referred to in the clip was Union Minister Shekhawat.

The SOG ultimately closed the case after the Congress high command intervened to resolve the issues between Gehlot and Pilot.

The Delhi police, meanwhile, had registered the case on Shekhawat's complaint against Sharma and others on charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and unlawfully intercepting telegraphic signals (telephonic conversation).

Sharma had rejected the allegations. He had approached the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of the FIR against him. Earlier this month, the court asked the Delhi Police not to take any coercive action against Sharma till August 6, the next date of hearing. PTI SDA RT RT

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