The Rajasthan political crisis is not showing any signs of improvement with Sachin Pilot's squad moving court and the Congress party saying he has gone to a point of no return. The deserted young leader is now seeking advice from party veterans before finalising his next plan of action.
Pilot spoke on phone to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday night seeking his advice. "I just reiterated that the leadership had publicly invited him to meet with it and all issues can be discussed. I advised him to seize the opportunity," Chidambaram told India Today.
He also reportedly told him that his rebellion will be forgotten if he would sit and talk with the central leadership. The senior party leader, who's trying to pacify the temperatures on both sides, reportedly assured Pilot that the situation will now be different than before in the Ashok Gehlot government. Pilot has also been told about the possibility of the party accommodating him in the central leadership.
Meanwhile, the state Congress unit has continued to attack Pilot for allegedly planning to topple the Congress government in the state. The pilot squad has moved the Rajasthan high court against the disqualification notice after they skipped two meets called by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Mukul Rohatgi, former attorney general, and senior advocate Harish Salve will represent the team Pilot in the court.
The Congress has also alleged the BJP was supporting the Pilot camp to snatch power in the state. MLAs owing commitment to Pilot are currently holed up at the ITC Grand Bharat Hotel in Manesar. Notably, just three months ago, the BJP returned to power in the Madhya Pradesh after former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the BJP along with other MLAs.
Pilot has also reportedly spoken to Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi and Abhishek Manu Singhvi over the issue. Besides, Rahul Gandhi is also trying to pacify the rebel leader through emissaries. Pilot on Wednesday clarified that he's not joining the BJP, and that he had worked hard to defeat it the previous Assembly elections. This also led to speculation that Pilot might be angling towards a patch-up but some Congress leaders are sceptical and say Pilot is merely buying more time till he gathers more support from MLAs to topple the Congress government.
Since the BJP is short of 28 MLAs to reach the majority mark of 101 in the 200 Rajashtan Assembly, the Congress leaders say Pilot is trying to garner more support to just help the BJP. Though Gehlot has said he has the support of around 109 MLAs, the Pilot camp they have enough MLAs in their fold.
Pilot was sacked on Tuesday as Rajasthan's deputy chief minister and the president of the state unit of the party after he did not attend the Congress Legislature Party meetings. After being sacked, Pilot had tweeted in Hindi on Tuesday, "Truth can be rattled, not defeated."
Pilot has accused Gehlot of humiliating and undermining his leadership ever since the Congress formed the government in the state. The current crisis erupted last Friday when the Rajasthan Police sent a notice to Pilot, asking him to record his statement over the alleged bid to bring down the government. The same notice was sent to the chief minister and some other MLAs, but Pilot's supporters claimed that it was only meant to humiliate him.
The Special Operation Group (SOG) had sent out the notices after tapping a phone conversation between two men, who were allegedly discussing toppling of the Gehlot government. The rivalry between Gehlot and Pilot became prominent during the Rajasthan Assembly elections in 2018. Pilot has been upset since the Congress picked Gehlot as Rajasthan CM after the 2018 polls, while his supporters insisted that he deserved credit for the party's victory as its state unit president.