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Home Trending Stories After Ashok Gehlot Meet, MLAs At Hotel, Sachin Pilot Unmoved: 10 Points

After Ashok Gehlot Meet, MLAs At Hotel, Sachin Pilot Unmoved: 10 Points

The Congress denied any threat to its government in Rajasthan.


  • The Congress faces a cliffhanger today in Rajasthan
  • Sachin Pilot is set to miss the meeting of Congress MLAs in Jaipur
  • The Congress called a press meet at 2.30 AM to deny any crisis

Jaipur/ New Delhi:
The Congress today claimed to have staved off a threat to its Rajasthan government from rebel leader Sachin Pilot with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot flashing the victory sign after a meeting of MLAs at his home. Ashok Gehlot claimed the support of 106 MLAs but Sachin Pilot contested it, insisting that the Congress has lost its majority. Taking no chances, the Congress moved its MLAs, including the Chief Minister, in buses to hotels, away from any inducements to switch to Sachin Pilot’s camp. At the same time, the party reached out to Sachin Pilot, relaying Sonia Gandhi’s message that the “Congress’s doors are open”.

Here are 10 developments in this big story:

  1. Sachin Pilot remained firmly away from Mr Gehlot’s show of strength as Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, sent to Jaipur to handle the crisis, urged: “Talk to us.” Posters of Sachin Pilot were also put back up in Jaipur after Congress workers took them down earlier today.

  2. Sachin Pilot says he has 30 MLAs but Congress sources claim he has no more than 16. The party fears its crisis will worsen if the BJP actively tries to pull down its government with help from the sulking deputy Chief Minister.  

  3. Sachin Pilot has denied any move to join the BJP. Sources close to him say Mr Gehlot now has about 95 MLAs, six short of the half-way mark in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly.

  4. In March, Jyotiraditya Scindia, a close aide of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, stunned the party in Madhya Pradesh by defecting to the BJP along with 22 MLAs, which brought the Congress government in that state crashing down. With Mr Scindia’s help, the BJP returned to power.

  5. Around the same time, Sachin Pilot, another Rahul Gandhi confidant who had been resentful after being denied Chief Ministership of Rajasthan, was also believed to have started talks with the BJP.

  6. After nearly two years of a simmering feud between the Congress’s top two in Rajasthan, the tipping point for Sachin Pilot came after he was summoned for questioning in an investigation into an alleged attempt to destabilise the state government ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. The summons was based on what the police say were tapped phone conversations of two BJP members arrested on Friday.

  7. Chief Minister Gehlot tried to downplay the summons by the Special Operations Group, saying he, too, had received it. That did not wash with a furious Sachin Pilot, whose aides pointed out that as state home minister in charge of the Special Operations Group, Mr Gehlot had practically given himself the summons as an eyewash.  

  8. The Congress has 107 MLAs in the 200-strong Rajasthan Assembly and has the support of 10 Independent candidates. Five MLAS from other parties — the Rashtriya Lok Dal, the CPM and the Bharatiya Tribal Party – support Mr Gehlot, who has accused the BJP of offering up to Rs 15 crore to MLAs to switch sides.

  9. The BJP, which has 73 MLAs, needs the support of another 35 to take power in Rajasthan. Offering Sachin Pilot the post of Chief Minister as he wants will be a challenge since the party has to consider its own Rajasthan powerhouse, former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

  10. While Mr Gehlot was deep into political firefighting, two of his aides were raided by taxmen this morning in what the Congress alleged was pressure tactics by the BJP-led central government. Five premises linked to the two leaders were raided over allegations of “tax evasion”, said officials at the Income Tax Department, which comes under the centre.


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