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Party claims 109 MLAs have expressed support for Gehlot

Doors still open for Sachin Pilot: Congress

Party meeting begins three hours late, MLAs flash victory sign
Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, Ajay Maken (L) and Avinash Pandey (R) address the media in Jaipur, Monday, July 13, 2020

Our Bureau And Agencies   |   Jaipur   |   Published 13.07.20, 01:43 PM

The Congress on Monday said its doors are open for Sachin Pilot, the rebel leader who has claimed that he has the support of over 30 party MLAs in the state's 200-member Assembly.

Doors are open for Sachin Pilot and other MLAs, senior leader Randeep Surjewala told reporters in Jaipur ahead of a crucial state legislature party meeting.

He said those who want to attend it should call up Avinash Pande, the AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan.

Pande, Surjewala and Ajay Maken were rushed to Jaipur ahead of the meeting amid a power tussle between chief minister Ashok Gehlot and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot.

The Congress Legislature Party meeting began about three hours later than scheduled, with ministers and MLAs flashed victory signs for the cameras.

Pilot, who is also the president of the state unit of the party, on Tuesday night claimed he has the support of 30 MLAs and the Gehlot government is now in minority.

The claim has been rejected by the Congress. The party says 109 MLAs have already expressed support for Gehlot.

The latest eruption in the crisis was triggered by a notice Rajasthan police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) had sent Pilot.

The notice came in connection with a complaint about alleged attempts to buy Congress MLAs and destabilise the government. Pilot flew into a rage and conveyed to the high command that this was not acceptable

Gehlot said there was a threat to his government from the BJP and explained that the SOG had sent notices to him and several independent MLAs as well. This, he said, wasn’t a move directed against Pilot.

The chief minister held a meeting of MLAs at his residence later in the night. Although the exact number of MLAs who attended the meeting was not known, there were notable absentees.


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