Rajasthan crisis: Sachin Pilot in Delhi with loyalist MLAs, to meet Congress leadership
New Delhi, July 12: In mounting trouble for Congress, Rajasthan's Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot arrived in Delhi on Sunday morning with some of his loyalist MLAs accusing Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of sidelining attempts.
The development comes amid a slugfest over the BJP's alleged attempts to topple the Congress-led Rajasthan government.
Reportedly, at least 16 of the pro-Pilot Congress MLAs and three independent MLAs reached Delhi on Saturday, ahead of the deputy CM's arrival.
Meanwhile, senior party leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday said he was "worried" for the party. "Will we wake up only after the horses have bolted from our stables," he said on Twitter, a day after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accused the BJP of trying to topple his government by bribing Congress legislators.
A power struggle between Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot, which has been on since the Congress' central leadership picked the senior leader for the chief minister's post, appears to have deepened with those in Pilot's camp claiming that there have been repeated attempts to undermine his authority.
The latest flashpoint between the two is a notice issued to Pilot by the Rajasthan police's Special Operation Group in a case related to alleged attempts to bribe Congress MLAs to switch sides in the Rajya Sabha polls.
Gehlot, however, has repeatedly pointed out that a similar notice has been sent to him, the government's chief whip as well as some ministers. Pilot, along with some Congress MLAs, is currently camping in the national capital and is seeking a meeting with top Congress leadership.
Gehlot had on Saturday accused the opposition BJP of trying to topple his government by offering his legislators large sums of money and said his administration is not just stable but will complete its five-year term.
The BJP had asked Gehlot to prove his allegation of horse-trading levelled against it or quit politics, and claimed he was targeting the opposition party as he was unable to check the infighting in the state Congress. The opposition party alleged that the whole controversy has been "cooked up" by the chief minister to defame Pilot.
The trouble in Rajasthan comes nearly four months after the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh collapsed after a rebelling by Jyotiraditya Scindia following a similar power tussle.