Congress warns MLAs in Rajasthan from making statements about party’s internal matters
The development came amid a war of words between supporters Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his rival Sachin Pilot.
The Congress on Thursday advised its MLAs in Rajasthan to refrain from making public statements against other leaders or about the party’s internal matters, NDTV reported.
Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal warned that strict disciplinary action will be initiated under the party’s Constitution if the advisory is violated.
The advisory was issued amid a war of words between supporters of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his rival Sachin Pilot. Supporters of Gehlot have repeatedly called MLAs in the Pilot camp “traitors” in multiple press conferences, according to The Indian Express.
The Congress government in Rajasthan plunged into a crisis on Sunday, hours after Gehlot hinted that he would quit as the chief minister to contest the party’s presidential poll.
Soon after Gehlot’s statement, several Congress MLAs boycotted a meeting called in Jaipur to pass a resolution empowering the party president to pick Gehlot’s successor. They instead went to the residence of Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi to submit their resignation amid speculation that Pilot could be appointed the next chief minister.
Supporters of Gehlot claim that around 90 legislators tendered their resignation to the Speaker, who is yet to take a call on them.
The legislators have demanded that the new chief minister of Rajasthan should be chosen from the pool of MLAs who had kept the government afloat when Pilot staged a revolt against the Congress in August 2020, triggering a political crisis. The Congress has issued show cause notices to three of Gehlot’s close aides for the rebellion in the party’s Rajasthan unit.
On Thursday, Gehlot announced his withdrawal from the Congress presidential race and took moral responsibility for the political crisis in Rajasthan.
“The incident that happened on Sunday shook all of us,” Gehlot said after a meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
“A message went across the country that I wanted to remain as chief minister, and that is why [all that] happened,” he said. “I have apologised to Gandhi...I feel sorry.”
When asked if he will remain the chief minister of Rajasthan, Gehlot said that this decision will be taken by the Congress president only.
Sachin Pilot meets Sonia Gandhi
Meanwhile, hours after the meeting between Gehlot and Gandhi, Pilot also arrived at the residence of the Congress president.
“I met Congress president Sonia Gandhi. She listened to me calmly,” Pilot told reporters after the meeting. “The events in Rajasthan were discussed in detail.”
He said that the leaders of the party need to work together in order to win the Assembly elections in Rajasthan in 2023.
“I am confident that in the next 12-13 months we will once again form a Congress government through our hard work,” Pilot said. “We discussed our strategy for that in detail with AICC [All India Congress Committee] leaders and the Congress president.”