New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Chattisgarh Congress in-charge PL Punia on Monday said that Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who declared open rebellion against the Congress on Sunday, is "now in BJP", but soon backtracked from his statement saying he was talking about Jyotiraditya Scindia

"Sachin Pilot is now in Bharatiya Janata Party. Everyone knows BJP’s attitude towards Congress party. We don’t need a certificate from BJP. In Congress Party, all leaders and workers are respected," Punia was quoted by ANI as saying. 

Soon after, Punia tweeted a clarification, saying that he was talking about Scindia, and mistakenly took Pilot's name. "It is clear in the video that question was asked about Scindia ji and my reply was about Sh Scindia and by slip of tongue I took Sachin Pilots’ name instead of Scindia. Mistake is regretted," he tweeted. 

This comes even as a NDTV report quoted Pilot denying speculations of him joining the saffron party amid speculations that the sulking deputy CM may float his own party in his bid to become the chief minister of the state with outside support from the BJP. 

A News18 report quoted sources saying that the party is likely to be named 'Pragatisheel Congress' and a formal announcement will be issued after the CLP meeting.  

In his third coup attempt since March to become chief minister of the state, the BJP is believed to extend him outside support with Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal also to support his new party. 

Pilot on Sunday claimed that the Ashok Gehlot government is in minority now as over 30 Congress MLAs are supporting him. Pilot also said he will not attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting scheduled to be held Monday.

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Soon after Pilot's announcement, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party remained intact and the government will complete its five-year term. 

Gehlot had alleged Saturday that the opposition BJP was trying to lure Congress MLAs to topple the state government.

The BJP dismissed the claim, saying the recent developments only reflected a power struggle between Gehlot and Pilot, simmering since the Congress leadership in Delhi picked the more senior politician for the CM's post.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta