Rajasthan PHED minister Mahesh Joshi is fighting the most crucial political battle. Apart from the opposition BJP, there are some leaders within the party who are trying to pull him down. But Joshi seems to be unperturbed. He told P K Gupta from TheBuckstopper.com in an exclusive interview that he is a loyal soldier of the party and he will always refrain from actions that can damage party prospects. “Let my own colleagues do whatever they want to, I will not react.” He said, even on that day last year when he along with UDH minister Shanti Dhariwal thwarted MLAs from attending Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting, “it was in the interest of the party. People may call it rebellion or whatever they want.”
Excerpts of the interview:
B S : People want to know what had happened that night when you along with Shanti Dhariwal drove away MLAs from attending CLP meeting?
MJ: In my entire life, whatever I have done has been in the interest of party. That day, the then observers Kharge Sahab and Maken Sahab wanted all of us to give them a one line resolution. We had no objection in that. But I along with Shanti Dhariwal, Pratap Singh Khachariyawas and Sanyam Lodha requested them to convene CLP meeting after the election of party's national president of which CM sahab (Ashok Gehlot) was the candidate. We requested them to seek suggestion of the outgoing CM on the resolution as all MLAs were of the opinion that those who were involved in Manesar rebellion should not be considered for the post. We requested them to apprise Sonia Gandhi about the sentiments of MLAs and if she still asks us to give the one-liner, we will not take even a single second in obeying her orders. But both of them were adamant of getting the resolution without any further consultation. Had it happened at that time, the party would have been broken. So, in the interest of the party, we decided to boycott the CLP meeting and let our voice reach the high command. Though it was completely in the interest of party, but we have submitted our unconditional apology for that act.
B S : People say that suspension of Jaipur Heritage Mayor Munesh Gurjar following ACB raid on her husband is result of your rivalry with another minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas.
MJ: These are not the facts. I always say let the law takes its own course. But still I would like to tell you why I am silent on this issue. My silence should not be taken as my weakness. I believe that whether it's Mayor or Minister or any responsible office bearer, the allegations are not restricted to the individual, it reflects on the party as a whole. We should not raise this controversy any more, rather wait for the judiciary to decide.
BS : There has been lot of corruption in your department and ACB has arrested many officials and opposition is alleging a big scam in PHED, what do you have to say?
MJ: In Rajasthan, the investigative agencies like ACB work independently. Even I have told everyone in my office that there is zero tolerance to corruption. If anyone is involved in it, he will have to pay the price. Arrests are happening because we have kept ACB free from any political interference. Reporting of no scam is not a guarantee to no corruption. It may be because of laxity in monitoring or providing cover up.
BS : Your son Rohit Joshi is an accused of rape. People say that you are using your political power to protect your son.
MJ : My son has not committed rape. Had he been guilty, I would have been the first person to take him behind bars. As far as using my political power in shielding my son is concerned, the case is being dealt by Delhi police which is governed by the central government. The case is completely malicious and has no base. Even after more than a year of investigation, they are not able to file challan. Delhi police has already taken statement from my son.
BS : Who do you think are behind this conspiracy then?
MJ: The girl is being led by a union minister and an MLA from Jaipur. They are trying to settle political score with me by playing with young lives.
BS : Who are they, please name them.
MJ : Wait for some time. They will get exposed themselves. I don't want to give them undue weightage by naming.
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