Rajasthan: 90+ Gehlot loyalists resign to stop Pilot's CM bid
The political crisis in Rajasthan worsened late on Sunday after an unsuccessful Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting as MLAs loyal to CM Ashok Gehlot kicked up a storm over the possibility of Sachin Pilot succeeding him. After a meeting, over 90 MLAs reportedly headed to Speaker CP Joshi to submit their resignation. However, there is no word yet on if their resignations were accepted.
Why does this story matter?
- Ahead of the party's upcoming presidential polls, the Congress had called a meeting in Jaipur on Sunday to discuss the next chief ministerial candidate—for which Pilot was seen as the top pick.
- Gehlot is the frontrunner for the party president's post, but in view of the party's "one person, one post" policy, he is reluctant to cede the CM's chair to his rival, Pilot.
At least 80 MLAs had reached Joshi's residence on a bus
Choose CM from those who stood firm during rebellion: MLAs
As Ashok Gehlot loyalists left for the speaker's house, ministers Shanti Dhariwal, Mahesh Joshi, and Pratap Singh Khachariyawas and CM's advisor Sanyam Lodha asked senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken to conduct the CLP meeting after the presidential election. If Gehlot becomes the president, the CM should be chosen from 102 MLAs who supported the party when Pilot revolted in 2020, they demanded.
Gehlot should be part of decision making for CM: Loyalists
The Gehlot loyalists, however, denied passing a resolution regarding the next chief ministerial candidate and left the decision to the party's high command. They asserted that Gehlot should have a say in choosing his successor. Appointed as observers for the CLP meeting earlier, Kharge and Maken asked the loyalist MLAs to meet them one on one. Pilot, however, had arrived for the CLP meeting.
Gehlot should have consulted us before deciding: Khachariyawas
MLA Khachariyawas told ANI that he was upset over Gehlot taking a decision on the matter without consulting the MLAs and said they had the support of 92 MLAs, who had submitted their resignations. The number, however, could not be verified independently. In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, Congress reportedly has 108 members and the support of 13 Independent MLAs, while the BJP has 71.
BJP leader's jibe on Congress's ongoing nationwide Bharat Jodo Yatra
Bhai, Rajasthan Congress Ko Jodo pehle— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) September 25, 2022
Bharat Jodo baad me kar lena 🙏
Pilot had rebelled in July 2020
As Congress came to power in Rajasthan in 2018, Sachin Pilot and Gehlot locked horns over the CM's post. Gehlot was chosen as the CM for the third time, and Pilot was made his deputy. In 2020, Pilot huddled 18 MLAs to revolt against Gehlot's leadership and camped in Haryana amid reports of him being in touch with the BJP to topple the government.