Congress again reaches out to rebel Rajasthan MLAs, lists its only condition
The Congress party could hold talks with the rebel MLAs of Sachin Pilot camp if they leave the hospitality of Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana, underlined party’s national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Tuesday.
Surjewala maintained that the only condition for talks with the dissident Rajasthan MLAs is that they leave the BJP’s “suraksha chakra (protection)”.
“Innocent kids are being killed, gang rapes are taking place, people are being beaten up in Gurugram. There is no police available for them, but 1,000 policemen are deployed for the security of 19 upset MLAs. The legislators should first give up the Haryana police’s security, and friendship and hospitality of the BJP, return home and only then will the dialogue take place,” said Surjewala, once again underscoring the party’s accommodating stance.
Congress leaders have alleged that Pilot camp is staying at a Haryana hotel on BJP’s hospitality. They have also accused the BJP of attempting to topple the Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan.
Surjewala, Rajasthan Congress in-charge Avinash Pande, and senior leader Ajay Maken have been sent by the party to the state as Central observers.
On Saturday, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who earlier used harsh words against his Number 2 in the government, said that he would welcome back former deputy chief minister Sachin pilot and other dissident Congress legislators if the party’s high command forgave them.
“If the high command forgives them (dissident MLAs), I will hug them. I have no prestige point,” Gehlot said while talking to the media outside a Jaisalmer hotel, where the MLAs loyal to him were shifted ahead of the assembly session from August 14.
Gehlot has also rejected the claim of dissident Congress MLAs that their work was not being done.
He told reporters that the MLAs earlier used to appreciate the government’s work and now they are complaining about it.
He said people elected them but now they have “revolted”.
The fissures in the state Congress leadership came to the fore when Pilot and 18 other MLAs rebelled against the Gehlot government in July. The chief minister has accused Pilot of trying to topple the government and alleged that he did nothing substantial as the Rajasthan Congress president in a seven-year tenure.