Rajasthan Crisis: Sachin Pilot camp releases video of MLAs supporting him
New Delhi, July 13: Amid deepening political crisis, a video of around 15 MLAs sitting together has been released by the camp of Sachin Pilot, who is at loggerheads with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Pilot has claimed the support of 30 MLAs and that the Ashok Gehlot government is in minority.
Some of the MLAs could be seen facing the camera, while Sachin Pilot is not seen in the video. The leaders also not disclosed the location where it was shot.
Meanwhile, Congress MLAs were holed up Monday in a resort near Jaipur after a legislature party meeting, where they expressed support for Ashok Gehlot and only indirectly referred to Sachin Pilot, whose rebellion threatens his government.
Pilot has been upset since he was denied the Rajasthan chief minister's post after the December 2018 assembly elections.
Haryana: Rajasthan Congress MLAs Inder Raj Gurjar, PR Meena, GR Khatana, and Harish Meena among others, at a hotel in Manesar. (Video released from Sachin Pilot's office of MLAs supporting him) pic.twitter.com/IHToT5tkiR— ANI (@ANI) July 13, 2020
There was no official word on the number of MLAs who attended the meeting at Gehlot's home, but party leaders claimed 106 legislators were there.
If correct, this staves off the immediate challenge posed by Pilot, who claimed on Sunday night that he has the support of over 30 of 107 Congress MLAs in the 200-member assembly. But at least seven MLAs considered close to Pilot were not spotted at the CM's house.
In the 200-member assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the BJP 72. In the past, the ruling party has claimed the support of 13 independents, two MLAs each from the CPM and the Bharatiya Tribal Party, and one from the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
The Congress had rushed Pande, Surjewala and Ajay Maken to Jaipur as observers at the meeting, amid a power tussle between its two Rajasthan leaders. The party had issued a whip ahead of the CLP meeting, indicating disciplinary action against any MLA who failed to turn up. Pilot, however, had made clear in a statement that he would not attend the meeting.
He also claimed that he had the support of over 30 Congress MLAs and some independents. The current crisis began Friday night when the Rajasthan Police sent a notice to Pilot, asking him to record his statement over an alleged attempt to bring down the government.
The same notice was sent to the chief minister and some other MLAs, but Pilot's supporters claimed that it was only meant to humiliate him.