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BJP leader floats corruption charges against sitting Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, gets immediately sacked ahead of state polls

Kailash Meghawal, six-time BJP MLA from Rajasthan, gets sacked shortly after making allegations about corruption by Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghawal during his days in the bureaucracy.

On September 13th, Rajasthan State BJP President and Speaker of Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha, CP Joshi, parted ways with another Veteran BJP Leader, Kailash Chandra Meghwal, following his public criticism of the incumbent Union Minister Law and Justice, Arjun Ram Meghawal (ARM).

Kailash Meghwal is a six-time MLA from Rajasthan who served as the National Vice-President of the BJP, former speaker of Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Employment under the Vajpayee government in 2003.

With only two months to go for the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha elections, this divide can emerge as a source of worry for the BJP, which had been strategizing hard to sweep the Rajasthan polls to establish a much-needed momentum ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2024.  

On August 27th, the 89-year-old MLA from Shahpur, Bhilwara constituency of Rajasthan, Kailash Meghwal, lashed out at the Bureaucrat-turned-Politician Arjun Ram Meghawal, vilifying him as “Corrupt Number 1,” claiming that he had cashed in bribes worth crores of rupees during his tenure as the District Collector of the Churu District. During his speech in a program, Kailash Meghawal endorsed that, “It is not right if the Law Minister himself is corrupt.”

Who is Arjun Ram Meghwal, and what are the allegations against him?

Arjun Ram Meghwal has emerged as a crucial cog in the wheel of the BJP government in the centre. He cracked the Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) exam in 1982 and was promoted to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1999 as the District Collector of Rajasthan’s Churu. 

The BJP is desperate to break its ‘elite-party’ tag ahead of the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha election by flagging ARM’s “Scheduled Caste” status. This might explain why he was recently named the convener of the 25-member Sankalp Patra or manifesto committee ahead of the polls.

Veteran leader Kailash Meghwal has been hypercritical in his claims against the Union Law Minister and claims of possessing “substantial evidence” that might expose one of the closest allies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Kailash Meghawal claims: 

  • While working in a senior position at the Rajasthan Udhyog Seva Parisad, Arjun Ram Meghwal had allegedly cashed in a lot of money as a bribe in the institution. Despite several appeals by his colleagues against his promotion, he kept getting promoted nonetheless. Every time fresh charges sprung against him, the ‘system’ would issue petitions to drop those charges.
  • When he got promoted to the collector rank in District Churu, he allegedly gave away pieces of land and estates allocated for the widows of martyred soldiers to ‘others’ in return for bribes. When the discrepancy exceeded a certain scale, a petitioner named Hakim Ali filed an FIR against the then Collector Meghwal and his associates. The Anti-corruption Bureau of India carried out primary research based on the FIR and divulged dissimilarities in the affairs of Meghwal and his three other associates. Arjun Ram Meghwal had allegedly used his ‘connections’ and ‘influence’ to manipulate and thrall the investigations until 2014, after which all the charges became dormant following BJP’s rise to power in the centre.

In his assertions against the incumbent Union Minister, Kailash Meghwal alleged that ARM had also lied in his affidavit before filling for the 2014 and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“It is a serious offence, and his election can get cancelled too, and he can lose his Lok Sabha membership. There are several serial cases. I have written to the PM and will also write to the Election Commission to cancel his Lok Sabha membership as there are sufficient grounds for the same,” complained Kailash Meghwal.

“Factionalism” inside the BJP?

Vasundhara Raje-loyalist Kailash Meghwal did not spare even the BJP as he alleged that the party’s unit in Rajasthan had evolved into an institution plagued with ‘gutbaazi’ (factionalism). Tearing into the local leadership of the BJP in Rajasthan, Kailash Meghwal maintained that they were carrying out a vendetta against those close to the former CM of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje.

Kailash Meghwal complained that he got sidelined by the current BJP leadership despite his unfettering loyalty to the party’s ideology. He complained, “I get ignored. From ‘hero,’ I have gone to ‘zero’. Hence, you don’t see me in any yatra of the BJP.”

Numerous incidents of Kailash Meghwal’s defiance of the Rajasthan BJP’s regimented stand had often brought him to the cross ends with his party. During the Gehlot-Pilot fiasco in 2020, Kailash Meghawal endorsed that the BJP had been strategising with the ex-Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and some discontented Congress MLAs to topple Ashok Gehlot’s government. Such a claim brought him appraisal from Ashok Gehlot but distanced him further from his own party. 


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