Jaipur/New Delhi: The tussle between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot camp and the camp led by his deputy Sachin Pilot for supremacy has come out in the open in the state. In fact, this struggle for the CM’s chair began immediately after the Congress won the last Assembly election in the state. Presently, the Congress central leadership seems to be tizzy if a repeat of the Madhya Pradesh drama of toppling of the Congress government and installation of a BJP government in the coming days could be on the cards.
Going by certain unconfirmed reports and grapevine musings, since sometime Sachin Pilot was maintaining increasingly close contacts with a set of BJP leaders in Jaipur as well as in Delhi. The fear in the Congress enhanced if he proves to be another turncoat like Jyotiraditya Scindia of Madhya Pradesh and finally leads to the fall of the Congress Government in Rajasthan.
In the last few days, political activism among a set of MLAs of both the Congress and the BJP could clearly be seen to be on the rise. A section of the state Congress leaders, purportedly led by the Chief Minister himself, raised the serious allegation that the BJP was working on a roadmap of horse-trading with a view to luring some Congress MLAs to quit the party to topple the Congress government. While the BJP denied of being involved in any such game-plan, the allegation of horse-trading began growing into a roar.
Meanwhile, CM Ashok Gehlot who also holds the Home portfolio institutes a Special Operation Group (SOG) probe by the Rajasthan Police to probe into the allegation of horse-trading by the BJP with Congress MLAs as the target. Accordingly, the police served notices on a large number of MLAs asking them to cooperate with the police in the said probe. An SOP notice was also served on Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and many of his loyalists. This in turn caused Pilot and his close associates in the party to be furious.
Meanwhile, Pilot has left for Delhi to apprise the party high command about the development in Rajasthan. As per initial figures, there were 25 MLAs with him camping in Delhi. As the hours rolled by, as per sources, the number dwindled to 20. At the rime of writing this report, the came to be projected as 17.
While Sachin Pilot has met several central leaders in Delhi, he is waiting for a meeting with one of the Gandhis, Sonia or Rahul. Next, a report made the rounds that Rahul Gandhi would meet him after 5.30 pm. The last report that became available was that till the time of filing of this report he had not been given an audience by Rahul Gandhi.
Political analysts are of the opinion that Rahul Gandhi would probably like to hear from CM Gehlot about the development in the state. Observers also feel that the junior Gandhi already must have had several detailed discussions with Gehlot.
On the other hand, the political temperature in Rajasthan, particularly in the capital Jaipur, is constantly on the rise. Reports from Jaipur state that Gehlot is seemingly commanding the loyalty of the majority of party MLAs. The number projected till this hour is 113 plus the BSP MLAs and the Independents. Several state Congress leaders are confident that there is no threat to the Congress government led by Gehlot in Rajasthan.
So far as notice by the SOG is concerned, sometime back Ghelot came out with a damage-control statement that notice has also been served on him. While the Congress MLAs loyal to Pilot are being camped in a resort in Delhi, in Rajasthan the CM has caused all roads at the borders with the neighbouring states to be closed by the police under the guise of corona controlling strategy.
Again, while Sachin pilot is waiting for a meeting with Rahul Gandhi, Gehlot has called for a meeting of the Congress MLAs at 8 pm today in Jaipur.
Factually speaking, the political development in Rajasthan has just unfolded. The next phase of development may be known only after Pilot along with his loyal MLAs meets Rahul Gandhi in Delhi and Ghelot holds the announced meeting with the Congress MLAs purportedly loyal to him. However, the card up the sleeves of the state BJP has not been thrown into the open.
As of now, it can be stated that one has to wait for some time for high-profile development to unfold. For the next update, we must wait till at least late at night.
Also Read: CM Gehlot Accuses BJP of Attempting To Topple His Govt