The Rajasthan police today wrote to the Haryana police "seeking cooperation" after drawing a blank in their search for rebel MLAs accused of conspiring to bring down the Congress government of Ashok Gehlot.
A team of the Rajasthan police Special Operations Group (SOG) went to two resorts in Manesar near Delhi where rebel MLAs in Sachin Pilot's camp have been staying for over a week, but found no one. The Congress took this as confirmation that Sachin Pilot's rebel squad has the active support of the BJP, which rules Haryana.
Two MLAs, Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh, were suspended by the Congress and accused of a role in trying to bribe party MLAs into switching sides to enable the Gehlot government's fall. The party also alleged that Bhanwar Lal Sharma had been caught making deals with Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat of the BJP, based on audio tapes that emerged online.
The Rajasthan police team went to Haryana to take voice samples of Bhanwar Lal Sharma on two days. When the team arrived at ITC Bharat Grand on Friday, it was stopped by a large contingent of Haryana police. When it finally got in, there was no trace of the rebels.
On Sunday, the Rajasthan police went to the Best Western Resort, but the gates did not open and they left after a 20-minute wait.
The investigation into alleged "horse-trading" has left the Rajasthan Congress split wide open. Sachin Pilot, asked to answer questions on alleged attempts to bring down a government in which he was Deputy Chief Minister, left Jaipur for Delhi in a fit of rage and has camped there since.
The Congress, while making near-unprecedented reach-out attempts, has also accused Mr Pilot of stalling for time so he can win over more rebels and reach BJP's target in order to challenge the Congress government.