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'Every Congress leader in Rajasthan wants that red diary'

July 27, 2023 12:16 IST
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'Every Congressman in Rajasthan is in Ashok Gehlot's pocket.'

IMAGE: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot holds an informal discussion with ministers. Photograph: ANI Photo

Rajendra Singh Gudha lost his ministership in a jiffy after a brief speech in the Rajasthan assembly in which he highlighted crimes against women in the state.

His comment came at the most inappropriate time for the Congress party which was targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party over the video showing two Manipuri women being paraded naked and abused.

The MLA from Udaipurwati in Jhunjhunu district was summarily dropped from the government as well as thrown out of the Congress party.

Ever since his ouster, Gudha has been brandishing a red diary which he says contains secrets damaging to the Congress, and even made an attempt to show it off in the state assembly on Monday, July 24, 2023, when he was manhandled by Congress MLAs who tried to snatch it from him.

This showed that he was right about the diary, Gudha told Syed Firdaus Ashraf/ in the first of a two-part interview.


You said the contents of the red diary were just a trailer against the Ashok Gehlot government and you will later screen a film on his doings.

Four months ago, a case was filed against me in Rajasthan and this at a time when I was a minister in the government.

A lady had come to me and said her daughter was getting married and a man who had taken Rs 384,000 from her was not returning her the money. She wanted the money back for her daughter's marriage and this man was not returning the money. She said if she did not get the money she would commit suicide.

I felt she was needy and I had seen a case earlier where a lady committed suicide because she could not raise money for her daughter's marriage. I compensated Rs 384,000 from my own pocket to this needy lady.

I then called that man who owned the money to this lady and said he should return the money. Now, this man filed a case against me as if I was extorting money from him.

I was being pressurised that I will be sent to jail in this case.

This was the internal politics in the Congress party.

Is it not a fact that you quit the BSP and became a confidant of Gehlot and later on in the power struggle within the Congress you switched loyalties to Sachin Pilot, which created a rift between Gehlot and you?

I was Ashok Gehlot's confidant. I have fought for him on the front foot, but now he does not need me. He is done with me. I was used and thrown in the dustbin by him.

He is chief minister of the state, home minister of the state, finance minister of the state and he runs the state.

Every Congressman in Rajasthan is in Ashok Gehlot's pocket.

Ashok Gehlot is the Congress and the Congress is Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan.

Did Gehlot tell you to go to Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation's Dharmendra Rathore's home and get that red diary from him when there was an income-tax raid on his house?

Yes, I did.

Gehlot told me to go and collect that red diary for him at that time.

99 out of 100 Congress MLAs will tell you this fact.

You can do your own personal investigation and find out the truth. I am not lying. This is public knowledge.

But you never revealed what was in the diary, why?

You can now guess why they snatched away the diary from me. Every Congress leader in Rajasthan wants that red diary.

Ramesh Meena from the BSP was your junior who also switched loyalties to the Congress, but he was made a cabinet minister while you were given a junior post. Is that the reason you were unhappy with Gehlot and decided to speak out against him?

No, this issue did not matter. You cannot keep everyone happy in politics.

Did your proximity to Sachin Pilot cost you?

Sachin Pilot is close to Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. He is Rajesh Pilot's son.

Another Congress politician, Divya Maderna, speaks often against the Congress and no action was ever taken against her because she is the daughter of Mahipal Maderna and is from the Jat community.

I do not have such a family background in politics, so I have to struggle more. These things count in politics.

Do you plan to join the BJP now?

I am not going anywhere. I am with the people of my constituency. I am roaming now in my constituency and will decide my next step in politics as the people tell me.

Do you feel you should have never made this 14-second statement?

I did not commit such a big crime. They could have asked me to resign. I would have done that.

Is it such a big crime to speak?

You compared Rajasthan to Manipur where women were disrobed, paraded naked, then raped. And it looked like you spoke on behalf of the BJP.

I have always contested elections against the BJP and won.

The Congress has no presence in my constituency and is always in the third or fourth position.

I have given six MLAs (from BSP) to the Congress from my side after the last assembly elections.

I have voted for them in the Rajya Sabha elections and Presidential elections.

And now they are saying I am doing all this at the behest of the BJP!

During the tenure of the last BJP government in Rajasthan I was put in jail for 38 days in a false case of obstructing traffic during a protest.

The Congress cannot speak against Sachin Pilot so they are targeting me.

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