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Rajasthan political crisis: CM Ashok Gehlot assures party's safety; Urges supporters to 'stand firm'


New Delhi, July 21: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday urged legislators supporting him to "stand firm like a rock" and assured the mandate is with the Congress party as he faces a tug of war with former deputy Sachin Pilot.


The state Chief Minister was addressing more than 100 members of legislative assembly (MLAs) in the third meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) at Fairmont Jaipur, a luxury hotel where his supporters have been staying since last week.

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"We will have more than 115 MLAs, including some from among the absentees. And nobody wants elections to happen, be it the Congress or the BJP," Gehlot allegedly said during the meeting.

Senior Congress leaders including national general secretary and Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pande, KC Venugopal, Ajay Maken, Randeep Surjewala, Vivek Bansal along with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot are present at the meeting.

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This is the third meeting of the CLP in the last one week. A political turmoil is raging in the state apparently because of a tussle for power between dissident Congress leader Sachin Pilot and Gehlot.

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    Last week, Pilot and 18 other MLAs rebelled openly, defying a party whip to attend two Congress Legislature Party meetings. He was then sacked as deputy chief minister and state Congress chief.

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