Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and Congress leader Sachin Pilot will not attend the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting scheduled to be held on Monday at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence.
The meeting has been scheduled for 10:30 AM on Monday at the Chief Minister’s residence in Jaipur and a whip has been issued for all Congress legislators to compulsorily attend the meeting.
Sources close to Pilot said the Gehlot government is in minority after over 30 Congress and some independent MLAs have pledged support to Sachin Pilot.
The crisis in Rajasthan Congress intensified with Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot at loggerheads, while Gehlot is blaming BJP for trying to destabilise the state government by poaching MLAs, Pilot is camping in Delhi to speak to the party leadership regarding the political turmoil in the state.
According to sources, Pilot has sought an appointment with the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi but time for the meeting has not yet been given by her. Although, Pilot met another party leader to apprise him about the situation in the state and spelled out his grievance.
As of now, many MLAs, who are believed to be in the Pilot camp, are also in Delhi to meet the party leadership.
According to sources close to the news agency ANI, the deputy chief minister has the support of nearly 30 Congress MLAs along with many independent legislators.
The clash between Gehlot and Pilot is also over the post of PCC Chief as Gehlot Camp wants that ‘One Leader One Post’ formula to be implemented in Rajasthan.
Currently, Sachin Pilot is heading the PCC besides holding the Deputy CM post.
The rift within the Congress party has deepened following reports of alleged rivalry between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Depuy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. Reports have emerged stating that Pilot is afraid of losing the post of Rajasthan Congress president.
It may be noted that Pilot has been Rajasthan Congress president since 2014 and the 2018 assembly elections were fought under his leadership.
However, Congress decided to appoint Gehlot as the chief minister. The decision upset Pilot, who played a crucial role in reviving the party following its worst defeat in the state in the 2013 state assembly elections.
The development comes after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who also heads the Rajasthan Home Ministry and thus law and order in the state, has repeatedly accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of offering crores to Congress MPs in an effort to destabilise the Congress government run by him.
Rajasthan assembly comprises of 200 seats, out of which Congress has 106 MLAs. The party has support from 12 to 13 independent MLAs (3 have already pulled back earlier this morning), 2 tribal MLAs, 1 RJD MLA, 2 CPI(M) MLAs (providing outside support to Congress).
Meanwhile, BJP has 72 MLAs including support from 3 RLP MLAs.
If the 30 loyal MLAs to Sachin Pilot (as claimed by ANI sources) pledge support to Sachin Pilot’s likely decision to quit Congress, along with the 3 independent MLAs who have already pulled back, the halfway marks stand at 84. The BJP will still fall way below the mark to topple the current government.
(With ANI inputs)