New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot arrived in the national capital on Tuesday amid a buzz of a likely meeting with the party high command that is grappling with the high political drama in the state.
However, there was no confirmation about his schedule here with sources close to him saying that no meetings were fixed so far.
Pilot’s visit comes a day after Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken, the two Congress observers for Rajasthan, briefed party president Sonia Gandhi about the political crisis in the party’s state unit.
The two leaders were sent as observers to Jaipur for a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting. However, the CLP meeting did not take place.
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The observers, who had met MLAs in the state, termed as ”indiscipline” the action of 82 MLAs in the state, setting conditions for the party leadership for appointing chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s successor.
The Congress in Rajasthan plunged into a crisis on Sunday as several MLAs loyal to Gehlot resigned over a possible move to appoint Pilot as his successor, their rebellion erupting just ahead of a CLP meeting.
The Gehlot loyalists have been vocal in their attack against Pilot and Maken with Rajasthan minister Shanti Dhariwal on Monday alleging that the party general secretary in charge was involved in a conspiracy to remove Gehlot as chief minister and was canvassing for the former deputy chief minister. However, the Pilot camp has kept quiet and is waiting for a decision by the Congress high command.
While the Gehlot camp has put the number of MLAs supporting him over 90, the Pilot supporters have questioned it, saying how can a bus that took the MLAs to C P Joshi’s house accommodate so many.
The Pilot camp has also claimed that many of the MLAs were misled about the time and venue of the meeting and were called to the house of Gehlot loyalist Dhariwal to boost numbers. They cited the statements of some MLAs, including that of Indira Meena, to back their claim.
”We were being asked to sign a paper. I did not read the paper,” Meena had told a TV channel.
Another MLA Ganga Devi said she is with the party, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and whatever the party’s high command decides, she would stand with them. Devi said she did not hand in her resignation letter.
Rajasthan MLA Prashant Bairwa said he could not attend the meeting but visited Joshi’s residence and resigned.
”All these steps are being taken in haste, nobody knows what will happen next,” he told a TV channel.
Meanwhile, party’s chief whip in the state, Mahesh Joshi, said the meeting of the MLAs loyal to Gehlot was not called to mount pressure on the party’s high command.
Joshi was reacting to Maken’s ”indiscipline” remark about holding the meeting.
He said the MLAs have expressed their view so that it reaches the high command.