News Brief

CM Gehlot Sacks Minister Who Asked The State Government To Introspect Instead Of Talking About Manipur

Yathansh Joshi

Jul 22, 2023, 10:16 AM | Updated 10:16 AM IST

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (Left), and the sacked Minister Rajendra Gudha (right). (Pic: The New Indian Express)
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (Left), and the sacked Minister Rajendra Gudha (right). (Pic: The New Indian Express)

Rajendra Gudha, a minister in the Rajasthan government, was expelled by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday (July 21).

This decision came after Gudha criticized the state government's handling of crimes against women during an Assembly session.

According to a statement from Raj Bhawan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot recommended the expulsion of Rajendra Singh Gudha on the evening of July 21. Governor Shri (Kalraj) Mishra promptly accepted this recommendation made by Chief Minister Gehlot.

During a debate on The Rajasthan Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill, Congress MLAs disrupted proceedings by waving placards related to the Manipur issue. BJP MLA Narayan Singh Dewal was speaking at the time, and Congress MLAs returned to their seats after Chairperson J P Chandelia intervened.

However, ministers Mahesh Joshi and Pratap Singh Khachariywas engaged in a verbal exchange with BJP MLAs, led by Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore. After order was restored and Dewal resumed his speech, he changed the topic to crimes against women in Rajasthan.

When BJP MLA Chhagansingh from Ahore started speaking on the issue amidst the chaos, Gudha stood up at around 2:50 pm and said, "In Rajasthan, it is the truth that we have failed when it comes to women's safety. Instead of talking about Manipur, we should reflect on the increasing crimes against women in Rajasthan."

In response, Rathore acknowledged that the minister had exposed the government and congratulated him. He emphasized that according to the Constitution, when one minister speaks, it represents the entire government's stance.

Notably, Gudha held several responsibilities in the state cabinet, including Sainik Kalyan (Independent Charge), Home Guard and Civil Defence (Independent Charge), as well as the Panchayati Raj and Rural Development department.

Gudha, upon being expelled, expressed no surprise and said that he had no expectations from the party. He believed that speaking the truth came at a price, and criticized the poor law and order situation in Rajasthan.

Gudha also mentioned the false cases that had been lodged against him and promised to reveal more details upon his arrival in Jaipur.

Gudha defended his actions, stating that while he agreed with the protest by MLAs on the issue in Manipur, he believed that the situation in Rajasthan was also problematic. He denied any intentions of being combative in order to re-join his former party, the BSP.

Gudha questioned the moral correctness of the events occurring in Rajasthan and emphasized the need to address them.

Gudha, known as a leader in Sachin Pilot's camp, has been openly criticizing the Gehlot government since mid-2022.

During a rally in Jaipur in May, Gudha expressed his dissatisfaction with the Rajasthan government, stating, "The alignment of our government has gone wrong. We have surpassed the level of corruption seen in Karnataka, where the charge was 40 percent commission."

In addition to his criticisms, Gudha had previously specifically targeted senior cabinet minister Shanti Dhariwal, accusing him of corruption and claiming that no file leaves his office without it. He had also made allegations against cabinet minister for Mines, Pramod Bhaya, and former education minister Govind Singh Dotasra, who currently serves as the Congress state president.

In June 2022, Gudha had made his first major comment against Gehlot, remarking, "Gehlot saheb talks a lot about what he has done. He often speaks to the media. It would have been better if he took the time to sit down and think about it more."

In November 2022, Gudha had accused Gehlot of centralizing power and claimed that even transfers of constables require approaching the CM's Office. Responding to Gehlot's "gaddar (traitor)" remark about Pilot, Gudha had accused Gehlot of betrayal, alleging that he was not following the directives of the high command.

Gudha had also stated that if Pilot is not made CM, Congress MLAs will fit in an SUV.

During the month of December last year, he had once again confronted Gehlot regarding the scandal of leaked government recruitment exam papers. He had expressed his concern by stating that the current system was unable to securely conduct examinations, resulting in failure.

Reportedly, in February this year, Gudha found himself facing charges of abduction, among others.

In response, he accused Gehlot of engaging in political vendetta and claimed that a case against a minister could not be filed without the knowledge of the Chief Minister.

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