On the 2nd of August, Former Rajasthan Minister Rajendra Gudha held a press conference and shared some specifics from the ‘Red Diary’ that reportedly contains details of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s financial transactions and other corrupt dealings.
During the press conference, Gudha read out three pages from the diary and also shared specifics with the media. He stated that the corruption details and financial transactions of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) are clearly mentioned on these pages.
In these purported pages, there is an alleged conversation between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s OSD Saubhag Singh and Tourism Development Corporation Chairman Dharmendra Rathore. The alleged conversation is regarding the settlement and dealings in the election of RCA. It is worth noting that CM’s son Vaibhav Gehlot is currently the president of RCA.
Gudha has claimed that in these pages Rathore, a close aide of the CM, has mentioned transactions with the CM’s son and RCA secretary Bhavani Samota, among others.
According to Gudha, the handwriting on these purported pages is of Dharmendra Rathore and to hold these leaders accountable for the illicit transactions, he wanted to table the Red Diary in the Vidhansabha. With this, he stated that all the facts would have come out officially, however, he stated that he was prevented from doing so in the assembly and Congress MLAs pushed him.
He alleged that following his disclosure, action should have been taken against Congress MLAs who manhandled him, instead of that he was suspended from the assembly session for speaking against the Congress government’s misgovernance, corruption, and failure on the law-and-order front.
He asserted that he will keep making revelations on the pages from the Red diary and even if he is sent to jail, his trusted person will keep sharing these pages with the media. However, he cleared that some pages of the diary are missing but assured the media that he will share all the pages that are intact. He also added that he is not blackmailing the government instead it is the complete opposite and Congress leader Randhawa had been pressurizing him to apologize for doing all these disclosures.
The content of these three pages
Vaibhav Ji (CM Ashok Gehlot’s son) and I both discussed the RCA election expenses, and how Bhavani Samota is not giving people’s money despite earlier agreements. Rajeev Khanna and Bhavani Samota came to the house and did financial transactions for the RCA election. Bhavani Samota did not fulfill the promise he had made to most of the people. I said it is not right. If you complete it, Bhavani Samota said that I will apprise CP sir about this and will let you know by January 31.
Bhavani Samota is former RAS officer and is currently the secretary of RCA. It is claimed that he is close to Rajasthan assembly speaker Dr. CP Joshi. Earlier, Samota has also been Personal Secretary to CP Joshi.
Gudha had mentioned Lal Diary earlier as well. He claimed how much money was given to which national leader of Congress, all these things are also written in this Red diary. He stressed that this money was paid to those leaders on a monthly basis and it was done so that these leaders keep lobbying for CM Ashok Gehlot. He alleged that Gehlot’s chair was saved by lobbying in front of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
How the issue has brought Congress government’s corruption issue to the forefront
The controversy surrounding the ‘Red Diary’ started on 24 July when MLA from Udaipurwati assembly seat Rajendra Gudha waved it in the house after he was sacked as a state Minister for highlighting the failure of the state government in protecting women. He went in front of the assembly speaker with the diary. Following the incident, he was suspended from the House for the entire session.
Last month while addressing a public meeting in Jhunjhunu, Rajendra Gudha made a sensational claim and launched an attack on CM Ashok Gehlot. During the public rally, he said, ‘ED and Income Tax had raided the house of Dharmendra Rathore. On the orders of CM Gehlot, I took out the red diary from the house where the raid was going on. If I had not taken out the red diary, CM Gehlot would have been in jail. In this red diary, there is a complete account of what all was given to the MLAs to keep them in his fold.”
In his Sikar rally on 27 July, PM Modi made a reference to the ‘Red Diary’ and took a jibe at the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government. He stated that it is said that the Congress party’s black deeds seem to be listed in this red diary.