An ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan on Thursday alleged that BJP leader and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was trying to help Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who is facing a rebellion from his former deputy Sachin Pilot and his supporters.
“Former CM Vasundhara Raje is trying her best to help the minority [Congress] government of Ashok Gehlot,” Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MP Hanuman Beniwal claimed in a tweet. “She has even called up several Congress legislators to enable this.”
In another tweet, he alleged that Raje called up every MLA in Sikar and Nagaur from the Jat community and asked them to keep away from Pilot. Beniwal claimed he had proof to back up his allegations.
Raje, who preceded Gehlot as chief minister in Rajasthan, has been silent even as a political crisis has unfolded in the state. Pilot, sacked on Tuesday from his posts of deputy chief minister and state Congress chief, claims the support of more than 30 MLAs in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, though the Congress has disputed this.
Before the political turmoil erupted, the Congress had the backing of 125 MLAs, including 107 of its own lawmakers. As many as 13 Independents and five MLAs from other parties – one from the Rashtriya Lok Dal, two MLAs from the Bharatiya Tribal Party and two more from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – support it.
The majority mark in the Rajasthan Assembly is 101. The BJP has 72 legislators and has the support of three Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MLAs. Pilot has repeatedly said that he will not join BJP.
On Thursday, Pilot moved the Rajasthan High Court along with 18 other MLAs, against Assembly Speaker CP Joshi’s decision on Wednesday to disqualify them. The disqualification of these MLAs will help the Congress government as it will reduce the number of seats needed for securing a majority in the event of a trust vote.