Patna: Congress Party leader Sachin Pilot addresses a press conference for the Bihar Assembly elections, in Patna, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI29-10-2020_000035B) (PTI)
Patna: Congress Party leader Sachin Pilot addresses a press conference for the Bihar Assembly elections, in Patna, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI29-10-2020_000035B) (PTI)

Political turmoil in Rajasthan as independents, BSP MLAs join hands against Sachin Pilot camp

The MLA said that the central leaders camping in Rajasthan assured of accommodating the independents in the cabinet.
By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
UPDATED ON JUN 20, 2021 05:05 PM IST

The political turmoil in Rajasthan seems to be unending, as the independents and BSP-turned-Congress MLAs have joined hands against the Sachin Pilot camp, which is demanding cabinet expansion and political appointment, HT has learnt.

“We stood with the ruling government and still do. In the meeting after discussions with the other independents and six of BSP, who joined Congress, we will pass a proposal reminding the Congress party of their promise,” an independent MLA, considered close to CM Ashok Gehlot, said.

Sachin Pilot loyalist Congress MLA: ‘No one is bargaining for posts merely asking for what is due’

The six BSP MLAs, who joined Congress in September 2019, are already mounting pressure on the high command claiming that the government was saved because of them during the political crisis last year. Now, the 13 independent MLAs and these six MLAs are jointly holding a meeting on June 23 to claim their stake in the cabinet and the political appointments.

The move comes after AICC general secretary and in-charge Rajasthan, Ajay Maken on Friday made a statement that the central party leadership is in touch with former deputy CM Sachin Pilot, who is a star campaigner and asset to the party.

Tensions resurface among Pilot camp, CM Gehlot in Rajasthan: Report

The MLA said that the central leaders camping in Rajasthan assured of accommodating the independents in the cabinet and political appointments within a month. “It has been close to a year but nothing has been done, and now Maken’s statement in favour of Pilot camp has put us all in dilemma,” he said.

Another independent MLA, supporting the agenda of the meeting said, “We were there with the Congress in crisis and deserve to be given what was promised. But I have my reservations on inviting BSP MLAs in the meeting as they are now members of the Congress party.”

The political turmoil, which started with the MLAs of the Pilot camp hammering the government daily with the demand of cabinet expansion and political appointments, and later with charges of phone tapping and spying, now seems to be turning into Pilot camp versus non-Congress MLAs.

Though Maken claims ‘all is well’ in Rajasthan Congress but the war of words between the Pilot's MLAs and the Gehlot camp on media and social media suggests otherwise.

Political analyst Manish Godha said the joint meeting looks like a counter to the Pilot faction, though BSP MLAs did come in open recently against the Pilot camp but seems that they are now coming as a bigger front with more numbers. Though the MLAs are independents, most of them are former Congressmen and supporters of Gehlot.

He said this new faction is to balance and counter the pressure mounted by the Pilot camp, and also to remind the Congress leadership of their promises made to them during the crisis last year.

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