Rajasthan crisis deepens as Sachin Pilot claims support of 30 MLAs, to skip Monday's party meet, BJP in 'wait and watch' mode
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan seems to be far from over with Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot claiming the support of 30 MLAs and saying that he will not attend the party meeting called by Chief Minister Ashopk Gehlot on Monday.
30 Congress MLAs and some independent MLAs in touch with Sachin Pilot and have pledged their support to him with whatever decision he takes, as per sources quoted by news agency ANI. The development thus puts the Ashok Gehlot government in minority.
Earlier in the day, the Congress paraded the three MLAs who went to Delhi before the media in Jaipur, insisting that the party stands together.
Rohit Bohra, Danish Abrar and Chetan Dudi, who were being counted among those in Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot's camp in the power tussle in Rajasthan, said that they will follow the party line. They called themselves “soldiers” of the party and said they will do whatever the top leadership tells them.
The MLAs said their visit to Delhi was a normal affair and the media should not speculate over it.
“We are with the Congress Party which gave us tickets. The media trial, which is going on, has no sense. We are soldiers of the party and will remain so for lifetime,” Bohra said.
He said they had long association with the Congress and the media should not indulge in speculation.
“I have been going to Delhi since childhood. Visiting Delhi is a normal affair but this time, it was made special,” Danish Abrar said taking a swipe at the media. "We are soldiers of the Congress Party at any cost,” he said.
Chetan Dudi said they have full faith in the leadership of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
The crisis within the Congress comes barely three months after the BJP managed to return to power in Madhya Pradesh after Jyotiraditya Scindia switched sides with the saffron party.
Now, Pilot is believed to be in talks with the BJP, which has reportedly ruled out offering the chief minister post to him if it manages to form government in the state. Vaundhara Rajee continues to be the BJP's prime face for the top post in the state.
Pilot's supporters said he is camping in Delhi and is upset over a notice sent to him by the Rajasthan police, who claimed to have stumbled on a plot to topple the Congress government.
The notice from the Special Operations Group (SOG) seeks time from him to record a statement.
The same notice has also been sent to Gehlot, Government Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi and some other MLAs, but those close to Pilot insisted that it was meant to “humiliate” him.
The posturing comes amid allegations by Gehlot that the opposition BJP is trying to lure Congress MLAs to topple the state government.
The BJP has dismissed the claim, saying the developments only reflect a power struggle between Gehlot and Pilot, simmering since the Congress leadership in Delhi picked the more senior leader for the CM's post.
A News18 report quoted BJP sources saying that the party will wait and see how the legislative party meet called by Gehlot goes on Monday morning.
The Congress has 107 members and the BJP 72 in the 200-MLA state assembly. The BJP needs about 35 MLAs in Rajasthan , and independent MLAs are also in touch with the party's state leadership.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta