Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said it was his responsibility to address the problems raised by rebel MLAs and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of engineering the political crisis in the state, PTI reported.
“But why did the MLAs go and what promises were made to them, only they know it,” Gehlot told reporters in Jaipur before leaving for Jaisalmer. “If any MLA is annoyed with me, then it is my responsibility to address that. I kept doing this in the past and will do this now also.”
The chief minister assured that “peace and brotherhood” will prevail in the Congress, according to ANI. “BJP tried its best to topple the government, but in the end, all our party MLAs are together, not even one has left us,” he added.
Gehlot said the BJP’s scheming would “cost them dearly”, NDTV reported.
Gehlot’s comments came a day after the All India Congress Committee formed a three-member committee to address the grievances of ousted Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and other dissident MLAs. Pilot held discussions with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in New Delhi on Monday. It was the first since the political crisis started last month and came four days before the crucial Rajasthan Assembly session on August 14. Gehlot is expected to prove the Congress government’s majority on the floor of the House during the session.
Meanwhile, Pilot said the Gandhis heard their grievances patiently and assured that a road map will be chalked out to resolve it. He told reporters that he has not asked for any post after the assurance from the party’s top leadership.
“I respect Ashok Gehlot but I also have the right to raise work-related concerns,” Pilot said. “I raised issues of principles, never abused anyone nor do I have personal grudges. I harbour no wish to have a post, these things come and go. We need to work in the direction of strengthening the public’s confidence and trust in us.”
Gehlot has repeatedly accused Pilot of colluding with the BJP to topple his government and had called him “nikamma” or useless.
Meanwhile, a BJP meeting was cancelled and will be held a day before the Assembly session. Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said the meeting will be held on Thursday at 11 am. “We are reworking our strategy,” he said. “We have cancelled our meeting with MLAs today.”
Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia claimed the legislature party meeting was cancelled because of the Janmashtami festival. Kataria said former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje gardner has tested positive for the coronavirus and they do not know her test results yet.
The Gehlot camp has been claiming the support of 102 MLAs, including the Independents, in the 200-member Assembly. Without six Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs who had defected to the Congress in September last year, the numbers drop to 96. The Bharatiya Janata Party has 72 MLAs. The majority mark in the Assembly is 101.