Written byShalini Ojha
Congress leader and Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot is planning to shift his loyal MLAs from a resort near Jaipur to another facility in Jaisalmer, to thwart rival BJP's attempts of horse-trading, reports said on Friday.
Nearly 102 MLAs are supporting him and could be shifted to either Marriott or Suryagarh Hotel. They will be ferried on chartered flights.
Here are more details.
This month, Gehlot was faced with a surprising revolt, led by his former deputy Sachin Pilot, who was eyeing CM's chair since 2018 Assembly polls.
The young turk took nearly 20 of his loyalists and camped in Haryana, announcing that Gehlot has lost the majority in the 200-member strong Assembly.
Congress tried ironing differences with Pilot, but he remained stern and was eventually sacked.
Gehlot, who served as Rajasthan's CM earlier as well, has repeatedly claimed that Pilot is working with BJP to topple his government.
In fact, he also launched an investigation into these allegations by the Special Operations Group (SOG). To recall, Pilot was summoned for interrogation in connection to this case, which triggered his uprising.
Despite the crisis, the CM stuck to his ground.
Reiterating his allegations, Gehlot said yesterday that "rate of MLAs" has gone up since Assembly session was announced. On Wednesday, after prolonged tensions with CM, Governor Kalraj Mishra agreed to convene the session from August 14.
Reportedly, Gehlot could hold a trust vote on August 17 and wants his flock to stay together till that happens.
Interestingly, Pilot's camp would also attend the session.
"After the Assembly session was announced last night, the rates of horse-trading have increased. Earlier, the first installment was of Rs. 10 crore, and the second was Rs. 15 crore. Now it has become unlimited and all know who is doing horse-trading," Gehlot said.
As Gehlot scrambles to keep his MLAs together, he also slammed BSP Chief Mayawati, accusing her of acting at the behest of BJP.
Earlier this week, BSP declared it would challenge last year's merger of its six MLAs into Congress in Rajasthan High Court, claiming that such a deal can't happen at the state level.
MLAs were also ordered to vote against Gehlot.
"With a two-third majority, a party can merge and defect, here all six merged into Congress. Mayawati's complaint is not justified as all six MLAs joined the Congress. I believe she is making statements on directions of the BJP," Gehlot claimed yesterday.
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