All of us are united: Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan Assembly
Rajasthan's former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, whose "homecoming" happened after weeks, declared in the Rajasthan Assembly today that 125 legislators are united, putting an end to a bitter battle with senior Ashok Gehlot. As the Assembly session started today, the Congress government, which saved itself from collapsing, moved a confidence motion. Unlike planned earlier, BJP did not move a no-confidence motion.
Context: The desert storm that troubled Gehlot has now subsided
Last month, Pilot, seen as one of the most dynamic young leaders of Congress, broke ranks with Gehlot after he was summoned in connection to a case pertaining to attempts to bring down the state government. With nearly 20 of his loyal MLAs, Pilot remained in Haryana, rejecting Congress' overtures. He was also sacked as deputy CM and chief of Congress in Rajasthan.
Pilot's revolt reached conclusion after Gandhi siblings intervened
His revolt was complete with a legal battle, which he won, but it wasn't strong enough to topple Gehlot's government. This week, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra entered the scene, spoke with Pilot, and brokered a deal. Gehlot accepted the truce, albeit not whole-heartedly. Yesterday, he told his loyal MLAs to "forgive and forget" the rebels and prepare for the next step.
Revolt cost Pilot "safe seat," but he remained optimistic
In the Assembly today, Pilot lost his seat next to Gehlot and occupied the one close to opposition BJP. Quipping at this, he said, "When I sat there, I was safe. Now I am next to the opposition. Then I realized I have been sent to the sarhad (border). That is because only the bravest and most powerful warrior is sent to the border."
According to Pilot, all MLAs are united after "doctor's treatment"
As opposition BJP targeted Congress over last month's developments, Pilot rose to the occasion to say that all MLAs are now united. Reportedly replying to Churu MLA, BJP's Rajendra Rathore, he said, "We consulted the 'doctor' and all of us are standing in the House today after 'treatment'...There may be bombardment at this border but we will be the armor and keep it safe."
One Congress leader likened BJP to Akbar
Buoyed by the respectable numbers it has in the 200-member Assembly, Congress also lashed out at BJP with Rajasthan Parliamentary Affair Minister Shanti Dhariwal equating the saffron party to the Mughal emperor Akbar. Dhariwal said just like Akbar tasted defeat when he tried expanding his kingdom to Mewar, BJP also couldn't succeed in its coup attempts. Naturally, BJP rejected the allegations.
You haven't been wounded because of us: BJP to Congress
Leader of opposition, Gulab Kataria, asked why Congress was blaming BJP for its infighting. "You haven't been wounded because of us. You are wounded because of quarrels in your house and are now trying to blame us for it, which is not right. BJP has nothing to do with this situation," he said. He added BJP "lacks the numbers" as well.
"Congress' own ministers have said work doesn't happen"
"We and our allies have only 75 members, how can we topple the government? You should try to understand reality. They went to separate camps, did they go on my instructions? Your own ministers have said that work doesn't happen in their areas," he added.
Please discuss the motion: Pilot told BJP for dragging him
Naturally, a lot of BJP's statements in the Assembly today mentioned Pilot and the revolt. On this Pilot said, "Since my name is being taken repeatedly, I want to tell the House that whatever has been said or not by me, our party, leaders, whether one should feel bad for that, leave that up to us and discuss the confidence motion."