Rajasthan Crisis: Gehlot alleges 'horse-trading' as Congress calls for re-union; Sachin Pilot firm on not joining BJP
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The political turmoil in Rajasthan intensified further on Wednesday with Congress launching an attack on dissident leader Sachin Pilot and asking him to stop accepting a BJP government's ‘hospitality’ in Haryana if he does not wish to join that party and return home in Jaipur to discuss grievances.
Attacking Sachin Pilot, who earlier in the day denied joining the BJP, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, “I have seen Pilot's statement in the media that he will not join the BJP. If you do not want to go to the BJP, stop accepting the hospitality of the BJP immediately”.
“Our young colleague Sachin Pilot was requested several times by the party leadership with an open heart to come and speak on the party forum if he has differences with the chief minister or any other leader,” Surjewala said further.
Ashok Gehlot’s scathing attack
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also trained his guns at Sachin Pilot and said that being handsome and speaking good English is not everything in politics. Gehlot also accused him of involvement in horse-trading with the BJP to topple his government in the state.
“Speaking good English or giving a byte is not everything. What do you have in your heart, what commitment do you have, this all is seen,” Gehlot added, stressing that he is the chief minister for the third time and struggled a lot in his youth
Gehlot, however, did not mention Pilot by his name but said the "former Pradesh Congress Committee president" was himself “doing the deal”.
“We have the proof that horse trading was being committed. Money was offered. And who gave the clarification that nothing was happening? Those who were themselves part of the conspiracy are giving clarifications,” he said.
“Our deputy chief minister and PCC president himself was doing the deal and was giving statements that no horse trading was taking place. What clarifications are you giving when you yourself were involved in it,” Gehlot added.
Sachin Pilot not joining BJP
Earlier in the day dissident leader Sachin Pilot said that he is "not" joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "I am not joining BJP," said Pilot as quoted by news agency ANI.
Reacting to Gehlot's ‘playing into the hands of BJP allegations, Pilot said that he has no plans to join the BJP and it was an attempt to malign his image by linking his to the saffron outfit. "I am still a member of the Congress party," he added.
The comments came a day after he was sacked as Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee chief by the party. The decision to sack Pilot was taken yesterday after a CLP meeting at the Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
At the meeting, as many as 102 MLAs unanimously demanded that Pilot should be removed from the party.
Cong seeks disqualification of rebel MLAs
The Congress has sought the disqualification of Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs from the state assembly even as it repeated that the party has not closed its doors on him.
Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi confirmed that disqualification notices have been sent out Tuesday on the basis of the complaint made by the party. The dissidents have to reply by Friday.
The Congress also made clear that it is going for revamp of the organisation in the state. On Tuesday, Avinash Pande announced that all cells and departments of the state Congress are dissolved so that they can be reconstituted under the leadership of the new PCC president. On Wednesday, he announced a similar disbanding of all district and block committees of the party.
Sachin Pilot was on Tuesday sacked as deputy chief minister and the state Congress president after he did not show up at the Congress Legislature Party meetings. Two other ministers in the Pilot camp were also dropped from the Cabinet.
Pilot has been upset since the Congress picked Gehlot for the chief minister's post after the 2018 assembly polls. His supporters had credited him for leading the Congress to victory as the state unit president. In the 200-member assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the BJP 72.
Posted By: Talib Khan