Rajasthan: Will attend Assembly session, announces Sachin Pilot's "rebellious" team
Hours after Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra approved Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's plea for convening an Assembly session from August 14, former deputy CM Sachin Pilot's aide announced they would participate in the proceedings, reports NDTV. Along with his aides, Pilot, the ex-president of state Congress, has been camping in Haryana, after his much-publicized revolt. However, it's unclear when the legislators will leave for Jaipur.
Context: Pilot was upset after being summoned for interrogation
Pilot, one of the blue-eyed politicians of Congress, snapped ties with CM Gehlot after he was summoned in connection to a case pertaining to efforts launched to topple the government. Seeing it as humiliation, he left Rajasthan and remained at a resort in Haryana. Congress' efforts to reach out to him remained unfruitful forcing the grand old party to sack him.
Threatened with disqualification, Pilot's team exploited legal options
The tensions turned into a full-blown crisis after the legislator from Kota and 18 of his loyalists were served disqualification notices by Speaker CP Joshi, over their absenteeism from two crucial meetings. Pilot challenged the notices in Rajasthan High Court, and got relief last week when the bench ordered that status quo must be maintained. Supreme Court gave them relief too.
Gehlot reportedly has 102 MLAs on his side
To note, if the rebel MLAs are disqualified, Gehlot would automatically get the majority in the 200-member Assembly. He is said to have the support of 102 MLAs, a wafer-thin majority. Also, Pilot and his team will be disqualified if they don't attend the session. While rebels say Pilot's team is 30-member strong, they haven't successfully supported their claims.
Tellingly, Pilot is running out of "fuel"
It's pertinent to highlight that Pilot has landed himself in a weird situation. If he cross-votes in the trust vote, which is likely to happen, he will be disqualified as a legislator. If he does vote for Gehlot, his uprising would be rendered useless. With him declaring that he isn't joining BJP, and his ties with Congress nosediving, Pilot is running low on options.