New Delhi: Amid allegations by Rajasthan’s ruling Congress that its 18 rebel MLAs are being ‘held hostage’ by the BJP, the rebels on Friday released a video, saying that this was not the case, adding that they were, in fact, staying in Delhi. Also Read - 'House Bulao, Call The Assembly': Rajasthan CM Gehlot, Congress MLAs Raise Chants Outside Raj Bhawan | WATCH
“Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said we are held hostage by BJP, I want to clarify that it is not so… We are here at our own will as despite our efforts, he didn’t listen to any of our demands related to work in our constituencies”, Suresh Modi, one of the 18 rebel MLAs supporting former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, said. Also Read - No Action For Now on Disqualification Notices Against Pilot, Dissident MLAs: Rajasthan HC | Key Points
Another rebel MLA, Murari Lal Meena, said, “We are staying in Delhi. CM Ashok Gehlot said we are held hostage by BJP, it’s untrue as we were never in touch with them”, also alleging that their families were being scared by the Chief Minister through the Rajasthan Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG).
“Few people sitting in Jaipur are claiming that we are being held hostage. We came here on our own will. In fact, I got a pass made through DM to reach here”, Vedprakash Solanki, another Pilot camp MLA, said.
Notably, earlier, the MLAs were believed to be staying in two separate resorts in BJP-ruled Haryana. This had led to allegations by the Congress that the rebels were being ‘held hostage’ by the BJP, which is in opposition in Rajasthan. The SOG had tried to find the MLAs at the two resorts-ITC Bharat Grand and Best Western Resort-but they were not found there.
The video comes on a day the Rajasthan High Court ordered ‘status quo’ in Rajasthan; i.e Assembly Speaker cannot take action against Pilot and the 18 rebel MLAs. The case will now be taken up by the Supreme Court on Monday. On Thursday, the top court had refused to restrain the high court from delivering the verdict.