Now, Congress faces a crisis in Rajasthan

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 12, 2020 Published on July 12, 2020

Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan Chief Minister   -  PTI

CM Ashok Gehlot’s feud with Sachin Pilot erupts once again

The Congress, on Sunday, hurtled towards yet another crisis, this time in Rajasthan with Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot’s reported outreach to the BJP that cast a shadow over the future of the Ashok Gehlot-led Government in the desert State. Gehlot has called a meeting of the legislature party, claiming the support of the party MLAs and 11 independents, while Pilot’s sudden visit to Delhi has created a storm about whether he was following the Jyotiraditya Scindia route to the BJP.

Pilot’s feud with Gehlot

Three months after Scindia’s switching sides to the BJP caused the collapse of Kamal Nath’s Government in Madhya Pradesh, Pilot’s long-standing feud with Gehlot erupted over the weekend. Scindia wasted no time to rub it in, asserting that talent and ability had no place in the Congress. “Sad to see my erstwhile colleague, Sachin Pilot, too, being sidelined and persecuted by the Rajasthan CM, Ashok Gehlot. Shows that talent and capability find little credence in the Congress,” Scindia tweeted.

The Congress officially rubbished all such reports. Party leaders Ahmed Patel and KC Venugopal were in touch with both Gehlot and Pilot to iron things out between Gehlot and Pilot. “We will settle this soon,” a senior leader told BusinessLine. Pilot, who is also the Pradesh Congress Committee chief, had returned to Jaipur from Delhi by evening along with his supporter MLAs after meeting senior Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi.

Also read: Rajasthan: Cong accuses BJP of horse trading


The problem started with Pilot receiving summons from the Special Operations Group (SOG) working under Gehlot, which is probing the alleged attempts to topple the State Government during the Rajya Sabha elections held recently. Pilot’s camp says that it was an attempt by Gehlot to snub the PCC president.

A non-serious notice

Gehlot, on his part, clarified that even he got the notice to appear before the officer probing the matter. He said it was the media that interpreted a non-serious notice differently. The Congress survives in a thin majority of 107 members in the 200-member State Assembly. Gehlot said the SOG probe is based on the complaint filed by the parliamentary party of the Congress that certain BJP leaders were trying to poach MLAs from the Congress. He said such notices have been served to the CM, Deputy CM (Pilot) and the Chief Whip.

Congress media in-charge, Randeep Singh Surjewala, said the BJP is busy purchasing Opposition MLAs.

“The entire country is affected by Covid-19. Number of infections has touched 29,000 per day. China is transgressing into our territories. The ruling party, after Madhya Pradesh, is busy purchasing MLAs of Rajasthan. We must understand that the crisis is not limited to any State, the entire country is under a crisis,” Surjewala said.

A senior leader from Rajasthan said the high command has to take a decisive step. “Both leaders (Pilot and Gehlot) are power hungry. The high command has to make a decisive intervention. The State is fighting Covid and the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and the BJP are engaged in power struggle,” he said.

Pilot to skip legislative party meeting

Meanwhile, Pilot has decided to openly rebel against the Congress. A message from his office reportedly said the Gehlot Government is in minority. Pilot has also decided to skip a meeting of Congress's legislative party on Monday. He has claimed support of 30 Congress MLAs and some independent MLAs.

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Published on July 12, 2020
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