Rajasthan: After 3-day silence, Ashok Gehlot to meet Sachin Pilot today
New Delhi, Aug 12: The bitter rivals Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot likely to come face-to-face at a Congress Legislature Party meeting scheduled for tomorrow, a day before the special session of the Rajasthan assembly.
Gehlot is likely to seek a trust vote despite the rebel legislators returning to the Congress as the move will give a breather of six months to the party to set its house in order.
Earlier, Gehlot said resentment among Congress MLAs lodged in hotels for a month since the political crisis in Rajasthan broke out was natural but he has exhorted them to "bear" it to save democracy.
Forget, forgive and move on in the interest of the country and state, he said.
The political crisis in Rajasthan broke out after former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot raised a banner of revolt against Gehlot nearly a month ago.
However, a meeting between Pilot and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday signalled an "amicable resolution" of the crisis ahead of the crucial assembly session from August 14.
A day after the meeting, the Congress said the crisis in Rajasthan is a "closed chapter" and all legislators supporting its government will work towards strengthening the state, fighting COVID-19 and other economic problems.
Before leaving for Jodhpur, Gehlot told reporters, "It is natural for them (MLAs) to be upset. The way this episode happened, they had to stay in hotels... so it was natural to be upset."
"I have exhorted them that in the interest of the country, state, people of the state and for saving democracy, sometimes we have to bear," he said.
Asked how he sees the entire episode, Gehlot said, "Forget, forgive and move on in the interest of the country, state, people of the state and democracy. Democracy is under threat. This is the fight to save democracy in which our MLAs gave their support."
He said more than 100 MLAs stayed together for such a long time which is a big thing in itself and something like this has never happened in the history of the country.
"Our fight to save democracy will continue in the future because people gave us the mandate. It is our responsibility to keep that trust and deliver good governance and also fight with the coronavirus pandemic collectively. This victory is actually the victory of the people of the state," he added.
Gehlot said people called up Congress MLAs and motivated them. They told the MLAs not to worry even if it takes one or two months for this crisis to end. The government should win and it should be stable.
After spending time together for a month, the relations and bonding between the MLAs have become stronger, he said.
"We will work together. Our colleagues who had left have also returned. I hope that all, after the settling of complaints and grievances, will work to fulfil our commitment to serve the state," the chief minister said, referring to the Pilot-led rebel camp.
Gehlot reiterated the allegation that the BJP was trying to topple his government and said it was fully "exposed".
However, it could not succeed in its game... ''Satyamev Jayate'', he said.
The BJP has in the past denied Gehlot''s allegations.
The chief minister said he recently wrote a letter to all MLAs asking them to listen to the voice of conscience and people to save democracy and stand with the truth.
"It was the impact of the letter that the BJP booked three charter planes to take their MLAs to Gujarat but only one could go," he said.
Gehlot said democracy was maintained in the country due to the contribution of Congress leaders and hoped that it is sustained in the country.