Jaipur: It’s been only three months since the Congress lost Madhya Pradesh to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But, troubles don’t seem to be over for the grand old party yet, as political tensions brew in Rajasthan with battle of one-upmanship between two Congress camps led by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot playing out in the open. If speculations are to be believed, Sachin Pilot is known to be in talks with the BJP and claims to have support of 23 MLAs. Also Read - Who Will Pilot Rajasthan? Sachin Pilot Claims Support of 23 MLAs Amid Political Upheaval | 10 Points
Pilot’s likely meet with Sonia Gandhi Also Read - Inter-State Movement in Rajasthan: As COVID-19 Cases Surge, State Government Issues Guidelines | Check Here
Pilot is currently in Delhi, and has requested for an appointment with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to discuss the “challenges faced by his team due to the high-handedness of Gehlot”. Also Read - 'They're Trying to Destabilise Our Government': Rajasthan CM Gehlot Lashes Out at BJP
Gehlot summons meeting for all party members
Ashok Gehlot has today summoned a meeting of all party MLAs, an apparent show of strength amid speculation over his rift with deputy Sachin Pilot. The meeting at CM’s official residence is scheduled to take place at 9 pm, Congress sources said. Independent MLAs supporting the Gehlot government have also been invited, they said.
Rift in the Congress
Twelve Congress legislators of Rajasthan, who have put the Ashok Gehlot government in quandary after reportedly deciding to extend support to the BJP, are camping at ITC Grand Bharat, the five-star hotel in Maneser of the Gurugram district.
Around 40 BJP legislators have also been lodged in the same hotel as the top leadership feels they are vulnerable and may go with the Congress.
They were brought here on Saturday evening by influential BJP leaders of Rajasthan and Delhi. Pilot reportedly met the MLAs here the same evening.
The hotel management has set up barricades some 500 meters from the main entrance of the property. Over a dozen bouncers in white clothes have also been deployed to keep the media away from the hotel
Congress busy working out numbers
Meanwhile, state Congress leaders are busy working the numbers and calculating permutations and combinations to ensure the party’s government remains safe.
The Congress strength in 200-member Assembly is 102, with its Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance having one MLA. After 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs joined the Congress, the ruling party’s score in the House climbed up to 108. Support of 13 Independents, 2 Bharatiya Tribal Party and two CPI-M MLAs, its tally stands at 125.
Meanwhile, the BJP has 72 MLAs, with 3 lawmakers from alliance partner Rashtriya Loktantrik Party.
Party sources confirmed that around 20-25 MLAs could back Pilot and if they leave the party, the Congress numbers will fall under 100 while the BJP numbers will touch 100.
So, the situation remains interesting in Rajasthan.