In a heated political tussle in Rajasthan between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, the senior Congress leader flaunted his strength on Monday by parading over 100 MLAs at his residence in Jaipur. The party leaders and MLAs flashed victory signs as they gathered for the Legislative Party meeting. As Gehlot managed to parade his MLAs in front of the media, the Pilot camp remained out of sight.
Speaking to media, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said that the Government is stable in the state and will complete the full term. He also claimed that over the last 48 hours, Congress leadership has spoken to Sachin Pilot a number of times about the present political situation in the state.
Surjewala said, "I want to clearly state that Congress govt is stable in Rajasthan and we will complete the full term. No amount of conspiracy by BJP will be successful in toppling our govt in the state: Randeep Surjewala."
"If anyone is upset in family, they should find a solution by sitting with members of the family...On behalf of Congress leadership, including Sonia ji & Rahul ji, I convey that doors of Congress party are always open for Sachin ji or any member," he added.
Meanwhile, there are reports doing the rounds that Sachin Pilot is forming his own party called 'Pragatisheel Congress' and will gain outside support from the BJP to form the Government.
Amid the reports, the Deputy Chief Minister's posters were removed from the state Congress headquarters premise on Monday. However, couple hours later, posters of Pilot were put up again at PCC.
On Sunday evening, Pilot's office had put out a statement and said that Gehlot's Government is in minority and over 30 Congress and some independent MLAs had pledged support to the Deputy Chief Minister.
Congress has 107 MLAs and the Gehlot government is supported by 10 Independent MLAs and two each from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bharatiya Tribal Party while BJP has 72 seats in the 200-member Assembly.
For the uninitiated, a controversy broke out in Rajasthan after Special Operation Group (SOG) sent a notice to Pilot to record his statement in the case registered by SOG in the alleged poaching of Congress MLAs in the State.
Meanwhile, BJP is taking potshots at the Congress. Senior BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti accused Rahul Gandhi of not allowing young leaders to flourish in his party due to envy. "The envy of Rahul Gandhi is causing the destruction of the Congress. Rahul Gandhi does not allow young leaders to flourish. He creates an environment which creates rifts among party leaders, which he is then unable to control. And then he blames us for the crisis," Bharti said.
BJP MP and senior party leader Om Prakash Mathur and said, "CM (Ashok) Gehlot should have kept his government intact." "People of Rajasthan had given an opportunity to Congress to form government in the state, they should have used it properly. CM Gehlot should have kept his government intact, but he is not able to do it. His party MLAs are not happy with him," Mathur said while speaking to ANI.
(With input from Agencies)