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How Mistrust in Jaipur Made Over 90 MLAs Pull the Plug on Sachin Pilot’s CM Dream | Inside Story

By: Aman Sharma

Edited By: Apoorva Misra

News18.com

Last Updated: September 26, 2022, 10:13 IST

Jaipur, India

Congress MLAs leave for the residence of Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi for a meeting, in Jaipur, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Congress MLAs leave for the residence of Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi for a meeting, in Jaipur, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. (PTI Photo)

The over 90 MLAs of the Gehlot camp have made it clear that neither Sachin Pilot nor the 17 other MLAs from his camp should be chosen as the next chief minister as they were behind the attempt two years ago to bring down the Gehlot government by camping in Manesar in cahoots with the BJP

It was the surprise Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting called in Jaipur on Sunday with senior party leaders flying in from Delhi just before Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was expected to file his nomination for the Congress presidential election that raised an alarm amongst a majority of the party MLAs and created the situation of mistrust in Rajasthan.

Most of the 90-plus MLAs who skipped the meeting and instead tendered their ‘joint resignation’ to Speaker CP Joshi assumed that the meeting was just a formality to put a stamp on the selection of Sachin Pilot as the next chief minister. Pilot flew down from Delhi to Jaipur on Sunday afternoon and reached the CLP meeting along with his supporter MLAs, further raising doubts in the Gehlot camp that he had been assured the chief minister’s chair by the high command. The timing of the CLP, just a day before Gehlot was expected to file his nomination for the Congress chief’s post in Delhi, fuelled the apprehensions over the intent of the same.

Senior Congress leaders who came in from Delhi, Mallikarjun Kharge and state in-charge Ajay Maken, later on Sunday night met the MLAs individually and now will carry their feedback in the form of a report to the high command.

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The over 90 MLAs of the Gehlot camp have made it clear that neither Sachin Pilot nor the 17 other MLAs from his camp should be chosen as the next chief minister as they were behind the attempt two years ago to bring down the Gehlot government by camping in Manesar in cahoots with the BJP. The apprehension over such a move has been growing since last year after five of these MLAs from the Pilot camp were inducted as ministers as a ‘compromise formula’ with Sachin Pilot.

The Gehlot camp is in fact now insisting that if he becomes the Congress president, the CLP be called post that event and Gehlot should continue as the chief minister till the last budget before elections is presented. This is to ensure that the budget carries the ‘stamp of the Gehlot government’ in the form of poll sops. The ‘joint resignations’ are expected to be kept in abeyance by the Speaker since they have not been submitted as per the rules of the House. Gehlot is pitching for CP Joshi or current state chief Govind Singh Dotasra as the next chief minister, saying winning the next state election and respecting the MLAs’ choice for the post is a priority.

Incidentally, Gehlot had met all Congress MLAs last week on September 20 after he got indication from Delhi that he would run as the Congress president. The seeds for what happened on Sunday seemed to have been sown then. Sachin Pilot’s dream to become chief minister, for now, looks derailed.

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first published:September 26, 2022, 10:09 IST
last updated:September 26, 2022, 10:13 IST