Amid political turmoil in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot to skip state legislature party meet
Amid the ongoing political turmoil in the state of Rajasthan, deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot has made it clear that he will not attend the Rajasthan Legislature Party meeting scheduled for Monday morning, a statement from his office indicated. The Congress leader on Sunday openly rebelled, claiming that he had the support of 30 Congress MLAs and some independents in the state assembly.
The statement was circulated via a WhatsApp group operated by Sachin Pilot’s office.
“Rajasthan Deputy CM and Congress leader Sachin Pilot not to attend Congress Legislature Party meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow. Pilot says Ashok Gehlot government in minority after over 30 Congress and some independent MLAs have pledged their support to Sachin Pilot,” the message read.
The crisis in the Rajasthan unit of the Congress heightened on Sunday with party veteran and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot involved in a power tussle, with the CM blaming the BJP for attempting to topple the state government by poaching MLAs.
Besides being the deputy chief minister, Sachin Pilot is also the state Congress president.
The statement from his office appeared just as ministers and Congress MLAs were gathering at CM Gehlot’s official residence in Jaipur for a meeting to express support to the chief minister in the midst of a power tussle between the two leaders.
The Congress Legislature Party is due to meet at the Rajasthan CM’s residence at 10:30 am on Monday.
After Gehlot’s meeting with Congress party lawmakers concluded in Jaipur on Sunday night, Congress MLA Rajendra Gudda said, “Gehlot ji has the majority. We are also making efforts and some BJP MLAs are in our contact. We will bring more MLAs from BJP than lose.”
Earlier on Sunday morning, the Rajasthan chief minister met several legislators and ministers who had come to meet him at his residence to convey that they were with the chief minister in the hour of political turmoil.
According to a few officials posted at the chief minister’s residence as many as 95 lawmakers have allegedly given a letter of support to Gehlot.
The 200-member Rajasthan assembly is made up of 107 Congress MLAs and has the support of another 18, taking the party’s tally to 125. The BJP has 72 legislators and is supported by three MLAs of Hanuman Beniwal’s RSLP. In the Rajya Sabha elections on June 19, the two Congress candidates got votes of all 125 legislators supporting the government.