Congress leader Sachin Pilot has been removed as Deputy Chief Minister of Rajashtan, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala announced today. He has also been sacked as Rajasthan PCC Chief. The party has appointed Govind Singh Dotasra in his place, Surjewala added.
Sachin Pilot also removed as Rajasthan PCC Chief, Govind Singh Dotasra appointed in his place: Randeep Surjewala, Congress. https://t.co/x3akloNHYt— ANI (@ANI) July 14, 2020
The decision was taken during the CLP meet, which passed a resolution to fire Sachin Pilot as the Rajasthan Congress president and as Gehlot's deputy. The Rajashtan CM also dropped two of the Pilot loyalist ministers, Ramesh Meena and Vishwendra Singh. He has now headed straight to Governor Kalraj Mishra's house to inform him about the reshuffling of the state Cabinet.
"I regret that Sachin Pilot and some of his associates have been swayed by BJP's plot and are now conspiring to topple the Congress govt elected by 8 crore Rajasthanis. It is unacceptable," Surjewala said.
Earlier, a state minister from the Pilot camp had issued a statement, saying some party MLAs had defected to "protect dignity and self-respect at a time when our leader is threatened with notices from the SOG under the charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy". He said under Sachin Pilot, they (MLAs) made every effort to strengthen the party and bring it to power in Rajasthan at a time when it was reduced to an insignificant number in state.
Pilot on Sunday had released a statement on his official WhatsApp group, saying that Gehlot-led Congress government was in minority after over 30 Congress MLAs, and some independent MLAs have pledged to support him. The latest tussle between the two top leaders is a notice issued to Pilot by the Rajasthan police's Special Operation Group (SOG) in a case related to alleged attempts to bribe Congress MLAs to switch sides in the Rajya Sabha polls.
However, Gehlot has repeatedly pointed out that a similar notice was sent to him, the government's chief whip, as well as some ministers but those close to Pilot, insisted that it was meant to humiliate him. In a tweet on Sunday, Gehlot stressed that the police notices had gone to several people, including him. He added that a section of the media had interpreted the notices wrongly.
Ashok Rathore, SOG Additional Director-General also stated that the notices were issued to the chief minister, the deputy chief minister, the government chief whip and some other MLAs. He said as the investigation proceeds, others could also be issued notices. Gehlot also alleged that the opposition BJP was trying to lure Congress MLAs to topple the state government. However, the BJP dismissed the claim saying the recent developments only reflected a power struggle between Gehlot and Pilot.