‘Party doors not shut’: Congress leader after Sachin Pilot denies joining BJP
Shortly after Sachin Pilot, who was sacked as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and pradesh Congress chief yesterday, announced on Wednesday that he was not joining the BJP, the Rajasthan Congress in-charge tweeted that the party doors were not closed on the leader.
“The Congress doors haven’t been shut on Sachin Pilot, may lord grant him good sense and may he understand his mistake. I hope he gets out of the BJP’s deceptive ways,” tweeted Avinash Pande. The Congress is wary of what happened in Madhya Pradesh and has been making overtures to the rebel leader to sit with the party and resolve issues.
At the same time, Rajasthan Speaker has issued notices to Sachin Pilot and 18 other rebel Congress MLAs after the party sought their disqualification from the state assembly. They have been asked to respond by Friday.
The Congress complained that the rebel MLAs allegedly made statements to the media in an “openly hostile and prejudicial” manner against the interests of Congress and its government in Rajasthan.
Pilot, 42, underscored today that he had worked hard to defeat the BJP and bring the Congress back to power in Rajasthan. “I am not joining the BJP,” he said as rumours swirled around about him joining the opposition camp. He further said that connecting him with the BJP was being done to tarnish his reputation in the eyes of the Gandhis.
The rebel leader, who has been camping in Delhi, has still not met the Gandhis. However, the Gandhis have reached out to him through their emissaries.
The BJP, on its part, has kept its distance from the Congress drama playing out in Rajasthan, saying they are tracking the developments. The party does not want a repeat of the Maharashtra fiasco where despite being short on numbers it backed the leader from the rebel camp and rushed in to form the government. It had to beat a hasty, and ignominious, retreat. In the 200-member Rajasthan assembly, the BJP has only 72 MLAs, while the majority mark is 101. Pilot claims the support of 30 MLAs, but has also made it clear that he is not looking to jump ship as yet.