Jaipur: Despite last minute efforts by Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, revolting Rajashthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot today skipped the second meeting of the party’s legislators. Following this, it is said the party has decided to sack him.
Pilot has skipped the second meeting today even after the party extended an invitation to him last night. Amid the infighting between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy, Pilot-led Rajasthan Congress camp on Monday night released a video showing at least 16 MLAs sitting together.
Meanwhile, the State BJP unit has called for a meeting today. Former Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, Rajendra Rathore, BJP state president Satish Poonia are slated to meet today.
The Chief Minister’s supporters had claimed yesterday that he has 106 MLAs on his side, five more than the majority mark of 101 in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly. In reality, Ashok Gehlot’s supporters may have dropped to 102.
Congress MLAs spent Monday night in a resort near Jaipur after a legislature party meeting, where they expressed support for Gehlot, with Pilot’s rebellion threatening the government.
A resolution adopted at the Congress Legislature Party meeting urged strong disciplinary action against any party office-bearer or CLP member who does anything to weaken the government or the party.
Gehlot flashed the victory sign along with Congress MLAs who attended his meeting in Jaipur, asserting that his government is safe.
Meanwhile, the Sachin Pilot camp released a video of loyalists relaxing at a hotel in Manesar. The 10-second video was shared late at night on Pilot’s official WhatsApp group.
In the video, 15-18 MLAs of the Sachin Pilot camp could be seen lounging around in the garden of the hotel, an indication that the Deputy CM is still estranged from the Congress.
Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke to Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and sought to persuade him to return to Jaipur. However, it is said Pilot is sticking to his guns.
It is said that Pilot is not ready to settle merely for assurance of grievance redressal and insisting on a stature on par with Gehlot.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader PL Punia has said that the remaining MLAs who did not attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting held on Monday, will also return to the party fold.
He said, “It is very clear that BJP is trying to destabilise the government in Rajasthan. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has himself said that the BJP has crossed all the limits. 28 MLAs have given privilege motion against BJP due to their attempts. Congress’s 107 MLAs were present and the rest of them will also come so the attempt at destabilising the government won’t be successful. It has failed.”
Meanwhile, Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi on Monday urged the Congress leadership to do everything possible to persuade Sachin Pilot, saying his exit from the party will deal a severe blow to it.