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Congress plunges into crisis in Rajasthan as 90 MLAs ready to quit if Sachin Pilot is named CM

The Congress has plunged into a crisis in Rajasthan as MLAs loyal to Ashok Gehlot submitted their resignations against the move to bring Sachin Pilot as CM

The Congress has plunged into a crisis in Rajasthan with MLAs loyal to Ashok Gehlot submitting their resignations to state assembly Speaker CP Joshi in protest against the potential move to install Sachin Pilot as the new Chief Minister. 

As more than 90 Rajasthan Congress MLAs have submitted their resignation to the Speaker, the Congress leadership is in damage control mode. Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge will meet the MLAs today on a one-to-one basis. However, the MLAs have put forward three demands:

The CLP meeting will be conducted after the Congress President poll is completed on October 19.  Sachin Pilot or anyone from his camp should not be made the CM and the meeting should be held in a group.

Pilot, who was earlier sacked as deputy chief minister of the state for rebelling against the party with a rump of 18 MLAs, is not acceptable to a majority of the Congress MLAs who are loyal to Gehlot.

Since Ashok Gehlot has emerged as the frontrunner for the Congress President’s post, he will have to give up his current post as Chief Minister under the party’s rule of one-man one-post rule.  This has been made clear to him by Rahul Gandhi.

There is a buzz that Sachin Pilot, who is considered close to Gandhi family, will replace him as Chief Minister.

Food Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas on Sunday said democracy runs on numbers and whoever has the support of MLAs will be the state’s next chief minister. He also said that Congress MLAs reaching the assembly speaker’s house should not be seen as a rebellion by the party high command.

The Congress has 108 MLAs in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly.

A four-member delegation of ministers Shanti Dhariwal, Mahesh Joshi and Pratap Singh Khachariyawas along with CM Gehlot’s advisor Sanyam Lodha met Congress observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Ajay Maken.

In the meeting, they conveyed to the party observers that the CLP meeting to decide on the next CM should happen after October 19, once the presidential elections are over.

They further stressed that if Gehlot gets chosen for the top party post, he should have a say in picking the new CM who should be someone who stood by the veteran leader during the rebellion by Pilot supporters in 2020.

Later, talking to news agency ANI, state Minister Mahesh Joshi said that they want the party to take care of people who have been loyal to Congress, referring to Pilot’s revolt about two years ago.

“Every MLA has faith in interim president Sonia Gandhi. We have kept our point and expect that our demands will be considered when the final decision is taken by the high command. We want the party to take care of people who have been loyal to Congress,” said Joshi.