Rajasthan: Gehlot puts up show of strength, claims support of 100 MLAs
Jaipur, July 14, 2020
A day after Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot claimed that the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan has turned into a minority government after some MLAs went with him, Chief Minister Gehlot on Monday showed a united force at the Legislature Party meeting, throwing the show open to the media and claiming around 100 MLAs were still by his side.
As Gehlot managed to put up a brave face and paraded all MLAs in front of the media, the Pilot camp remained out of sight.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala clearly told the media that there was "no scope for personal ambition in the Congress party".
However, he added that the oldest party has its doors open for Pilot and his MLAs. "If anyone gets annoyed in the family, the family head tries to resolve the issue. So am I here on behalf of our leader Sonia Gandhi to ensure our party is united."
The Congress MLAs gathered at the Chief Minister's residence here "exuded confidence" that their government is in safe hands. There was sloganeering and victory signs were flashed at the media.
Gehlot along with other ministers even shouted in unison: "We stand together."
Congress officials told IANS that Pilot's calculations seem to be going wrong and he has hurriedly issued a statement claiming that he has support of 30 MLAs which is not the real case. It seems he has 15 MLAs and that means he is short of numbers.
He was not ready to wait for months and hence he tried to destabilise the government, said Congress members at the Chief Minister's residence.
BJP state president Satish Poonia, meanwhile, said that the party shall follow the central leadership's directions and will wait for their orders looking at the evolving political situation in the state.
"We will have our own strategies in place but our priority is to ensure that Congress doesn't make a comeback to power as the party has lost its credibility among people," Poonia said and added "We shall look into the developing situation, be like supporting Sachin Pilot but will ensure that Congress doesn't gain power again".
Earlier, addressing the media in Jaipur, Surjewala said, "Pilot should tell us when he will come to attend the CLP (Congress Legislature Party) meeting. We have kept our doors open for Pilot and his MLAs. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are keen to resolve the crisis."
"In the last 48 hours, we have spoken to Pilot many times. They should put forward their views in front of us," Surjewala said.
"We should not give the BJP a chance to form the government," he said adding that Pilot should come back to his home as he is a family member of the Congress.
"If he is angry for any reason, we will convince him," he added.
Nobody leaves his house and family when angry, he said further.