Were Paid to Join Congress: Rebel MLA to Raj CM | Former minister Ramesh Meena said "Today Ashok Gehlot is saying that Crores of money is being offered and accepted. All I would like to ask him that when we were in BSP and later joined Congress, how much did he give us? He should answer that honestly."
Day after being sacked as deputy chief minister, Sachin Pilot today reiterated that he is not joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha, who was suspended for 'anti-party activities' after supporting Pilot, said that the 'battle has just begun'.
Update | Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot gave statement today that money is being offered and accepted. People were dissatisfied with his pattern of work, bureaucrats dominated and lawmakers were unable to work. The Chief Minister never paid heed to our demands and had a tyrannical attitude, said former minister and rebel MLA Ramesh Meena.
READ | Sad Move, But Party Comes First: Congress's Salman Khurshid on Sachin Pilot's Sacking
The tussle around power in Rajasthan was thought to have subsided after Ashok Gehlot took oath as chief minister, with his counterpart Pilot as his deputy. But the events of the last 48 hours speak otherwise.
READ | M Veerappa Moily Says AICC Leaders in-charge of States Not Doing Their Job, Calls for Revamp
Asked to comment on the political crisis in Rajasthan, the former Union Minister appeared to back Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and also hinted that rebel leader Sachin Pilot should have patiently waited.
READ | Rahul or Tharoor? Ashok Gehlot's Dig at Sachin Pilot's 'Good English' Makes Twitter Go on Guessing Game
Of all things that Gehlot could talk about, he chose Pilot's looks, eloquence and media presence to attack the disgruntled leader.
READ | Congress' New Appointments in Rajasthan Post Sachin Pilot's Removal Strike Careful Caste Balance
Through the appointments of a totally new team of the state president, youth Congress chief, Sewa dal chief and NSUI president, the party, in a clear attempt to purge itself of Pilot’s influence, has also relooked at its caste calculations.
Congress Says Report on RaGa's Statement 'Baseless' | AICC Joint Secretary, Ruchi Gupta says media report on Rahul Gandhi's statement on Rajasthan crisis are "baseless." ANI had earlier reported that Rahul Gandhi at an NSUI meeting said "If anybody wants to leave the party they will. It opens the door for young leaders like you."
There have been some media reports about the NSUI meeting with Rahul Gandhi ji today. I want to categorically state that those reports are baseless. This was an internal NSUI meeting and we only discussed students and youth issues.— Ruchi Gupta (@guptar) July 15, 2020
Avinash Pande Supports Ashok Gehlot Amid Crisis | Ashok Gehlot has experience of political and social tenure more than his age. It is good to be ambitious, but conspiracy against a family-like party is wrong: AICC General Secretary, Avinash Pande
जितनी उनकी उम्र नही है उससे अधिक राजनीतिक व सामाजिक कार्यकाल का अनुभव है @ashokgehlot51 जी का। महत्वाकांक्षी होना अच्छा है, परन्तु परिवार समान पार्टी के खिलाफ षडयंत्र रचना गलत। https://t.co/L1BjKBDNf8— Avinash Pande (@avinashpandeinc) July 15, 2020
READ | 'Speaking Good English & Being Handsome Isn't Enough': Ashok Gehlot Slams His Former Deputy
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, however, did not mention Sachin Pilot by his name but said the "former Pradesh Congress Committee president" was himself "doing the deal".
Not Too Late for Sachin Pilot to Join Congress: Moily | Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister M Veerappa Moily said that the doors of the Congress party are still open for Pilot. "If Pilot is loyal to Congress then he has to go through the process, it is still not too late for him to come to party."
Pilot, Scindia Should Have Waited, Their Move Suicidal: Moily | Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister M Veerappa Moily said that the party has given a lot to both Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia and they should have waited patiently instead of being rebellious. "Whether it is Scindia or Pilot, they should have waited for their chance. They will never become chief ministers in BJP. So it is suicidal for both Pilot and Scindia," he said.
'They Should Stop Taking Help from BJP's Haryana Govt' | Congress leader Randeep Surjewala says "if Sachin Pilot and his MLAs don't want to join the BJP, then they should immediately stop taking the hospitality of the BJP's Haryana government, stop all conversations with them and come back to your home in Jaipur."
'Sachin Pilot Should Announce that He is Still with Cong' | Press Conference on Rajasthan political crisis begins. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala says "Sachin Pilot should come out and announce that he is still with Congress," adding that the party invites him and his supporters to meet officially.
READ | Congress Springs Into Action After Pilot’s Threat, Tightens Screws Around Rebel MLAs in Attempt to Win Them Back
In the same press briefing in which senior Congress leader and spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala announced the sacking of Pilot and his two aides, he said the doors were still open for the rebels if they wanted to talk it out.
READ | 'Speculations Fuelled to Tarnish My Image': Sachin Pilot Denies Joining BJP But Remains Mum on Road Ahead
Pilot's remarks come a day after the Congress sacked him as Rajasthan's deputy chief minister and the party's state unit president. Two loyalists of Pilot were also dropped from the state Cabinet.
AICC general secretary in-charge for the Rajasthan Congress Avinash Pande says new committees will be formed soon. Sources say the decision has come in the wake of Sachin Pilot's sacking as the deputy chief minister and the state Congress chief. The move is considered a step forward in removing all Pilot's men holding party positions at the grassroots level.
Just like a man-eater, BJP just waits for the opportunity, says Veerappa Moily. Their duty is to concentrate on Covid-19 and how to resolve the problems. They also divert their attention by (trying to) dismantle the non-BJP governments and they catch hold of these aspiring youth (from other parties) who are amenable, alleges Moily. The Congress has to reinvent itself by putting loyal leaders in charge of the organsation in the States. Giving importance to people who only come for power, position and to leaders with money is not good, he points out.
Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily recalls that he had earlier served as the party's in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and says used to take corrective action (during that period) visit there. Now-a-days people who are put in charge (of States) have no time to go there or be there, they dont undertake tours of the districts, says Moily.
File photo of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot.
Rajasthan as former chief minister Vasundhara Raje is expected to attend a crucial strategy session of the BJP as the crisis deepens, following sacking of Ashok Gehlot's deputy Sachin Pilot and and his two loyalists from the state Cabinet. With all eyes on rebel Congress leader Pilot's next political move, several senior BJP leaders from state said their party's doors are open for "anybody who expresses trust in its ideology". The former deputy CM had earlier too clarified that he won't be joining the saffron party.
Pilot has been upset since the Congress picked Gehlot as the chief minister after the 2018 assembly polls, while his own supporters insisted that he deserved credit for the party's victory as its state unit president.[q]
His next move is not immediately clear. During the run-up to Tuesday's CLP meeting, his supporters insisted that he had no plans to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. They said their aim was a leadership change in Rajasthan. "Truth can be rattled, not defeated," Pilot tweeted in Hindi soon after he was sacked.
Gehlot accused his former deputy of playing into the hands of the BJP. "I am very sad that horse-trading was going on," he said.
Pilot had kept away from the first CLP meeting on Monday and sources said 18 other Congress MLAs had also skipped it, giving an indication of the dissident leader's strength.
The numbers are large enough to keep the Gehlot camp on edge, even if most of the 107 Congress MLAs and independents have expressed confidence in his leadership. The state assembly has 200 MLAs and those close to Pilot are already calling for a test of strength on the floor of the House.
As soon as the meeting ended, AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala announced the sacking of Pilot and the two ministers close to him from their posts.
He said Pilot enjoyed the blessings of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and was given political power at a young age. Yet, he and other ministers were trying to topple the state government as part of a "BJP conspiracy".
"This cannot be acceptable to any political party. Therefore, the Congress took the decision with a heavy heart," he said.
Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara, a leader from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) is the new Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief. Tribal leader and MLA Ganesh Ghogra was appointed the new president of the state Youth Congress, a post held so far Pilot loyalist Mukesh Bhakar. Hem Singh Shekhawat replaced another Pilot supporter, MLA Rakesh Pareek, as the state president of the Congress Sewa Dal.
Abhimanyu Poonia, the president of the state unit of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), resigned. "We cannot work with a chief minister who has worked to send heads of Jat and Bishnoi families to jail. Our honesty and conscience is still alive," he said on Twitter.
Ashok Gehlot met Governor Kalraj Mishra immediately after the CLP meeting, recommending the removal of the three ministers from his Cabinet. He also chaired two ministerial meetings at his home that of the senior ministers who for the state Cabinet, and another of the ministers of state -- where the recent developments were discussed and administrative decisions taken.
Recommended For You
- Yeh Hai Chahatein Shoot Called Off Due to Heavy Rains in Mumbai, Aishwarya Sakhuja Shares Video
- After Erica Fernandes, Now Parth Samthaan Resumes Shoot for Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2
- Why 'Tamil Pride Ravana' is Trending on the Day of Ram Mandir Bhumi Pujan in Ayodhya
- Bride Running for Her Life in the Middle of Wedding Shoot Shows Horror of Beirut Blast
- 'Training, iPad, TV, Telephone and Kitchen': Asymptomatic Sergio Perez Describes Routine During Covid Isolation