Three Rajasthan Congress MLAs on Sunday affirmed their support to the party amid the ongoing political turmoil in the state, and said that their meeting in Delhi with Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who is allegedly in talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party, was a routine one.
“We went to Delhi due to personal reasons,” Rajasthan Congress MLA Rohit Bohra was quoted as saying by ANI. “If media says we went there for this reason or that, then it is not our problem. We don’t want to be part of any controversy. We are the soldiers of Congress and will be with the party till our last breath.”
Congress MLA Danish Abrar denied that they had been approached by the BJP to switch sides. “Sachin Pilotji is president of Rajasthan Congress and secretary of state party unit so my meeting with Sachin ji is a routine exercise,” he said. “Chetan Dudi, Rohit Behra and I have not been approached by BJP.” The three MLAs are considered to be close to Pilot.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan’s Cabinet Minister Harish Choudhary accused the BJP of attempting to topple the state government. “At a time when we are fighting against Covid-19, BJP is fighting for the power,” he said, according to ANI. “The Rajasthan government will complete its full term.”
Earlier in the day, Rajasthan’s Congress in-charge Avinash Pande assured that the situation in the state was normal. “We had a talk with Rajasthan Congress MLAs who had gone to Delhi and now, after talks, many of them have returned back to Jaipur,” he told ANI. “BJP is trying to topple Congress government in state, but it won’t be successful. Everything is fine.”
Gehlot has called for a legislature party meeting at his residence in Jaipur on Sunday at 9 pm, however, reports claimed that Pilot will not attend this meeting or the Congress Legislative Party meeting scheduled for Monday.
There has been speculation that Pilot is in talks with the BJP in Delhi and may stage a walkout like Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh to topple the Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan. The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh collapsed in March after 22 MLAs, considered close to former party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, resigned. They later joined the BJP. Scindia joined the saffron party on March 11 and was named the BJP’s Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh.
“Sad to see my erstwhile colleague Sachin Pilot too, being sidelined and persecuted by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot,” Scindia tweeted. “Shows that talent and capability find little credence in the Congress.” MLAs loyal to him are also said to be in Delhi with him.
Pilot and other party leaders in Rajasthan are reportedly upset with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for issuing orders to question the deputy chief minister in an investigation into alleged attempts to destabilise the state government. The controversy began after Pilot was summoned by the Rajasthan Anti-Terror Squad and the Special Operations Group on Friday.