With the direct intervention of the Gandhi family, the month-long tussle between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot seems to have been resolved.
This political crisis in the desert state surfaced in mid-July after a rebellion by former Congress deputy Sachin Pilot. With MLAs shifting hotels and parties blaming each other, the revolt by Pilot had led to a series of complex and at times dramatic events.
Here we've summed up how the entire revolt unfolded in 10 succinct points:
SOG Notice: On July 10, amidst allegations by Gehlot that the BJP was attempting to topple the State government, Special Operations Group (SOG) of Police sought Pilot's time for recording his statements in connection with the alleged attempts to topple Congress government in the state.
The revolt by Pilot: This was not a tremendous surprise when one considers the disenchantment of Pilot ever since the Congress chose Gehlot over him as CM of Rajasthan. The SOG summons became the proverbial nail in the coffin.
Pilot and the Congress high command: When the resolution of his power struggle with Gehlot did not come even after Pilot met the Congress high command, he skipped two Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meetings.
Removal of Pilot: After this, the Congress removed Sachin Pilot as Rajasthan deputy CM, and as the party-state chief. Many leaders, however, expressed a wish that Pilot should come back. As Congress leader, Randeep Singh Surjewala had said, "Doors are open for Sachin Pilot and other MLAs. They will be heard and solutions found. This is the discipline of the party."
MLAs in resorts: In the upcoming day, we saw each group house their MLAs in hotels fearing a shifting of allegiances ahead of the assembly session in Rajasthan. Soon after the culmination of a CLP meeting at the Chief Minister's residence in Jaipur, Rajasthan Congress MLAs were sent to the Fairmont Hotel on the Delhi-Jaipur highway after the party passed a resolution raising a demand to punish "anti-party elements".
Pilot vs Speaker CP Joshi and the judiciary: After his removal, the crisis charted its course to the court, when Rajasthan speaker CP Joshi sent a notice to Pilot and other rebel MLAs. However, an order by the apex court came as a breather for Pilot, allowing the Rajasthan High Court to pass orders on his plea, which in turn stopped the disqualification proceedings.
Gehlot's outburst: In the meantime, we saw several outbursts from Gehlot against his former deputy wherein he tagged Pilot as nikamma-nakara. The former deputy, however, maintained restraint.
The numbers game ahead of assembly session: The MLAs, meanwhile, were still locked in, as a rebellion by Pilot has made the number game edgy for Congress considering the situation in Rajasthan which seemed fertile for horse-trading.
The BJP and Vasundhara Raje: The number of MLAs supporting Pilot did not rise much in this duration. Although Pilot kept his party on the edge, he maintained that he will not join BJP. The Congress accused the BJP of horse-trading to topple its government in the state, a charge rejected by the opposition party. In the meantime, Gehlot also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the alleged poaching of Congress MLAs by the BJP. He also named Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in the letter.
However, in what can be termed as the most significant thing about the crisis is the much-debated silence of former CM of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje. It is believed that she did not get involved with the whole drama as she feared that Pilot becoming powerful will harm her position in the long run.
Pilot back to Congress camp: Now, after a month-long-revolt, Pilot is almost back in the Congress's camp. On Monday, a meeting between Sachin Pilot and Rahul Gandhi on Monday signalled an "amicable resolution" of the lengthy political crisis ahead of the crucial assembly session beginning August 14. He also said that he has not demanded any post, adding that he only raised issues related to governance, functioning, and respect of party workers.
(With inputs from agencies)2020 Rajasthan Political Crisis: Why Sachin Pilot landed back in Congress
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