New Delhi: Congress leader Sachin Pilot has served a legal notice to party MLA Giriraj Malinga, for claiming that the former had offered him money to join the BJP.

"Former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot has served a legal notice to Congress MLA Giriraj Malinga for his Rs 35 crore bribery allegation," a source close to Pilot said.

Earlier, addressing a press conference, Malinga said, "Those MLAs who are stuck either in Haryana or Jaipur, are running after money. To say, they are not, are false claims. Even I was offered the same by Pilot, which I had refused. Came to this party knowing BJP and Congress do not accept money to give tickets."

When asked by the reporters whether he was offered Rs 35 crore, he claimed by saying, "Yes, 35." The MLA claimed he was himself the proof when the reporters asked for the same.

The political situation in Rajasthan is in turmoil after chief minister Ashok Gehlot sacked his then-deputy Sachin Pilot and the latter's confidants from his council of ministers. The Congress has also claimed that BJP was trying to buy its party MLAs.

On Monday, the Rajasthan high court had said that it would hear the petition filed by Pilot and 18 of his loyalist MLAs on July 24, against the disqualification notices issued against them, a lawyer said.

"The arguments in the matter have been concluded. The court has heard the arguments from all the parties. The high court has slated the matter for orders on July 24," Advocate Prateek Kasliwal told reporters after the hearing.

The Congress had on July 17 cited the two audio tapes, purportedly featuring Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and rebel Congress MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma conspiring to topple the Ashok Gehlot government, seeking their arrest. The Special Operation Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police has registered criminal cases in the matter. The BJP has described the audio clips as “manufactured”, and Shekhawat has said the voice in the clips was not his.

The investigation into alleged "horse-trading" left the Rajasthan Congress split wide open. Sachin Pilot, served 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.

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