A Congress MLA staying at the resort where those in the Ashok Gehlot camp are holed up on Thursday claimed that dissident leader Sachin Pilot has more "well-wishers" than he thinks. While insisting that he was till loyal to Gehlot, Prashant Bairwa made the startling claim that the rebel leader could have enjoyed the support of "40 to 45" MLAs and not the 18 he has now.
Bairwa, once considered loyal to Pilot, told this to a news channel when he came out of Jaisalmer's Suryagarh hotel for a health check-up. The Congress MLAs are lodged there ahead of the assembly session commencing on August 14. The Congress has accused the BJP of the bid to topple its government in the state after Pilot and 18 MLAs loyal to him revolted against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Commenting on it, the Congress MLA said those backing Pilot will be the first to desert him. "Pilot had a big team; he had no idea," the MLA said.
"It would have been better had he taken advice from people like us and then, I believe, the number there could have been 40 or 45, not 19. But he did not take advice from us. I think somebody else was playing the game," he added.
"He has his well-wishers here also but it does not mean that we will not vote for the Congress. We will 100 per cent vote for the Congress," said the MLA indicating at the floor test.
Bairwa also said the BJP is involved in the episode. Mistakes can made by anyone, he said, adding that it is possible that they (dissident) want to come back but are not being allowed.