Rajasthan crisis: CM Ashok Gehlot meets MLAs in Jaipur
Marking yet another development in the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday met his loyalist MLAs in Jaipur. Further, a brief Assembly session could also take place next week, according to reports. In the middle of all this, the whereabouts of the state's former Deputy CM rebel Congress leader, Sachin Pilot, and his loyalist legislators remain unknown. Here's more.
A little history about power tussle in Rajasthan
Pilot, who was never particularly fond of his erstwhile boss, Gehlot, felt humiliated after he was summoned for interrogation in connection with an alleged plot to bring down the sitting state government. Subsequently, the 42-year-old Congress young gun left Jaipur for Delhi along with some loyalist MLAs. Days later, the grand old party sacked him from two top posts.
After camping in Haryana's Manesar, Pilot camp shifted
After camping in BJP-ruled Haryana's Manesar, the Pilot camp moved to an unknown location. Per reports, the Rajasthan Police visited two hotels in Manesar in their search but returned empty-handed. Earlier, Haryana cops even tried to stop them from entering the hotels. Some Congress leaders alleged that the rebellious camp has moved to another BJP-ruled state. However, the mystery over their whereabouts persists.
No action against Pilot until Tuesday: Rajasthan HC
Notably, the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly's Speaker, CP Joshi, earlier issued disqualification notices to Pilot and 18 other rebel Congress MLAs. However, Pilot moved court against the order. Subsequently, the Rajasthan High Court asked the Speaker to not take any action against these MLAs till Tuesday.
Gehlot met Governor Kalraj Mishra; Assembly session likely
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Gehlot met state Governor Kalraj Mishra. The meeting came hours after two MLAs of Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), a regional party, took a U-turn, and extended support to his government. While the governor's office tagged it as a "courtesy meeting," reports suggested that the CM indicated to Mishra that he wished to call an Assembly session next week.
An 8-member team will investigate the matter
Meanwhile, an eight-member team, headed by Jaipur Crime Branch SP Vikas Sharma, has been constituted to investigate the matter pertaining to the ongoing crisis. On Friday, two FIRs were filed with regard to the audiotapes that had conversations about an alleged conspiracy to topple Gehlot-led government. BJP, on the other hand, demanded a CBI probe, asking if leaders' phones were tapped and privacy compromised.
Congress attacked BJP, demanded Union Minister's removal
In a press conference, Congress leader Ajay Maken today launched a fresh attack at BJP, demanding the resignation or removal of Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The party has alleged that Shekhawat was among those involved in horse-trading of MLAs, releasing audio clips as purported proof. The Congress also said that BJP's demand for CBI probe highlights the party's desperation to save its leaders.
'Being unnecessarily dragged', claims BJP leader
Meanwhile, BJP's Gulab Chand Kataria, also the state's leader of opposition, said his party never demanded a floor test, adding they are being dragged into the controversy. "We are watching their fight. When the time is right and we have to do something, we will discuss and move in that direction. As of now, we are being unnecessarily dragged into this matter," he said.
Gehlot today met MLAs from his camp in Jaipur
On Sunday, Gehlot was seen visiting Jaipur's Hotel Fairmont, where MLAs from his camp are currently stationed. Now, Gehlot claims he has the support of 109 MLAs, well more than the majority mark. Pilot camp claims to have 30 MLAs on its side, a number enough to bring down sitting government. Who will emerge the winner in the long run? Only time will tell.