Ashok Gehlot-Sachin Pilot rift: Deputy CM not to attend legislative party meet called by CM
Jaipur: The political drama has intensified in Rajasthan. The rift between state chief minister Ashok Gehlot and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot that has been widening ever since the Congress came to power might reach its climax soon.
Sources said that deputy chief minister is camping in Delhi, while the chief minister has called for a legislative party meeting on Monday morning. Pilot who is unlikely to attend the meeting is said to have the support of over 30 MLAs – the majority of them from the Congress, while others independent.
In this scenario, Pilot is now in a position to pull the rug from under Gehlot. Many of his supporters are already projecting him as the next chief minister.
Pilot told media persons that he would not attend the meeting and he has the support of over 30 MLAs. He said that the Ashok Gehlot government was in minority.
Pilot is believed to be miffed at the notice served to him by the Rajasthan special operations group (SOG) in connection with the probe into the alleged horse trading of MLAs in Rajasthan. SOG arrested two men and produced them in a court on Monday. Prior to that, the agency issued notices to chief minister Gehlot and deputy CM Pilot.
Gehlot said that it was a standard procedure as per the law. He has called a legislative party meeting at his residence at 10.30 am on Monday. Sources said that Pilot would not attend the meeting and it would be an indication of the growing rift between him and Gehlot
According to SOG, two mobile numbers were under surveillance in connection with a case of smuggling of explosives and illegal arms. A conspiracy to topple the state government came to the light for the first during the surveillance before the Rajya Sabha elections. Two men who allegedly offered a hefty amount of Rs 25 crore to some MLAs were arrested. In the meantime, the ACB has initiated a preliminary enquiry against three MLAs including Omprakash Hudala, Suresh Tank and Sukhveer Singh.
Social media platforms were abuzz with speculations. People speculated that Pilot would join the BJP and become the next chief minister.