Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said it was natural for Congress MLAs to be upset after the truce with rebel legislators, reported ANI. Gehlot’s comments came two days after the Congress managed to overcome the political crisis that was triggered by ousted Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot’s revolt.
“It is natural for the MLAs to be upset,” said Gehlot, who met the Congress MLAs staying at a hotel in Jaisalmer. “The manner in which this episode occurred and the way in which they stayed for a month, it was natural. I’ve explained to them that sometimes we need to be tolerant if we have to serve the nation, state, people and save the democracy.”
Some 100 Congress MLAs reportedly voiced their resentment at the way Pilot and 18 other rebel legislators had been welcomed back to the fold without any amends, reported NDTV. Gehlot, however, said the party will continue to work together. “Our friends who had gone away have now come back,” he added. “I hope that we will do away with all our differences and fulfill our resolve to serve the state.”
On Monday, All India Congress Committee formed a three-member committee to address the grievances of Pilot and other dissident MLAs. Pilot held discussions with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in New Delhi. It was the first since the political crisis started 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.
Gehlot has repeatedly accused Pilot of colluding with the BJP to topple his government and had called him “nikamma” or useless. Pilot, on the other hand, said he respected Gehlot but added that he also has the right to raise work-related concerns. “I raised issues of principles, never abused anyone nor do I have personal grudges,” Pilot had said. “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.”
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.