Sachin Pilot and other rebel MLAs may meet top Congress leaders in moves towards a rapprochement in the Rajasthan Congress crisis, which has pushed the party’s government led by Ashok Gehlot to the edge, claims the party. Sources in the Congress claim they are on the verge of a “breakthrough” after weeks of standoff since Sachin Pilot launched his revolt in early July.
This may involve a meeting between Mr Pilot and the Gandhis and/or with top Congress leaders. Sources say the moves follow a meeting between Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Sachin Pilot two weeks back “at a common place in NCR”, after which talks were reportedly held at various levels.
Team Pilot, however, denied reports of a “breakthrough” and insisted that their core issue remained – Ashok Gehlot, they say, must be removed as Chief Minister.
Reports of a fresh attempt at reconciliation have emerged just four days before a special session of the Rajasthan assembly, where Ashok Gehlot is likely to push for a trust vote to prove his majority and outmanoeuvre the rebels, whom he accuses of collaborating with the BJP to pull his government down.
Mr Gehlot has been firmly against any outreach to the rebels, mainly Mr Pilot. The Chief Minister has launched multiple and sharp attacks on his 42-year-old sacked deputy, accusing him of plotting a coup with the BJP.
Mr Pilot has rubbished the allegation and asserted that he has no plans to join the BJP.
In its attempts at peace-making, the Congress leadership in Delhi may face a push-back from Rajathan, where Congress MLAs hit out at Team Pilot’s “betrayal” in a meeting late last night.
A Congress Legislature Party meeting was held on Sunday night at a hotel in Jaisalmer, where Mr Gehlot flew his MLAs to guard his numbers after the August 14 assembly session date was announced.
The 19 rebels should not be allowed any homecoming, the Congress MLAs reportedly said.
State Congress in-charge Avinash Pandey, said reports, stressed that he would not put forth any such proposal before the party leadership.
Mr Gehlot asked the party legislators to show their unity on the floor of the House. “We are all democracy warriors. We are going to win this war and also win the (assembly) election after three-and-a-half years,” he said, addressing the MLAs.