30 Congress MLAs, some independents pledge support to Sachin Pilot: Sources

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New Delhi [India], July 12 (ANI): As many as 30 Congress MLAs and some independent legislators who are in touch with Sachin Pilot have pledged their support to him and have vouched to stand by whatever decision he takes, sources said as the political crisis deepens in Rajasthan.

The crisis in Rajasthan Congress intensified with state Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot at loggerheads, while Gehlot is blaming BJP for trying to destabilise the state government by poaching MLAs, Pilot is camping in Delhi to speak to the party leadership regarding the political turmoil in the state.

A meeting of Congress Legislative Party will take place at Gehlot's residence at 10:30 am on Monday. Gehlot has also called a meeting of party MLAs and ministers in Jaipur on Sunday night.

Taking to Twitter, Gehlot said that special operations group (SOG) gave notices the Chief Minister, Deputy CM, Chief Whip, some other ministers and MLAs in connection with Congress Legislative Party's complaint regarding horse-trading by BJP.

"CM, Dy CM, Chief Whip, some other ministers & MLAs have received notices from SOG to record their statements in connection with Congress Legislative Party's complaint regarding horse-trading by BJP. It's not appropriate to present it differently by some media outlets," Rajasthan CM tweeted.

According to sources, Pilot has sought an appointment with party's interim president Sonia Gandhi but time for the meeting has not yet been given by her. Although, Pilot met another party leader to apprise him about the situation in the state and spelled out his grievance.

As of now, many MLAs, who are believed to be in the Pilot camp, are also in Delhi to meet the party leadership.

According to sources, the deputy chief minister has the support of nearly 30 Congress MLAs along with many independent legislators.

The clash between Gehlot and Pilot is also over the post of PCC Chief as Gehlot Camp wants that 'One Leader One Post' formula to be implemented in Rajasthan. Currently, Sachin Pilot is heading the PCC besides holding the Deputy CM post.

Sources close to Sachin Pilot have informed that the young leader is upset with the SOG notice issued to him. He believes it is aimed to record his phone calls and keep him under surveillance.

Many of Pilot's supporters feel indignation and told Pilot that they cannot work with Ashok Gehlot. Also, Pilot is unlikely to attend the meeting called by Gehlot today, according to sources.

Avinash Pande, Rajasthan Congress In-charge alleged that BJP is behind the political crisis in the state.

"Congress is strongly working together. All MLAs have trust and faith in the party and CM Ashok Gehlot. BJP is deliberately diverting the present situation. This conspiracy has been hatched by BJP & they have been trying this for one year. I can say that all Rajasthan Congress MLAs will work together and Congress government in Rajasthan will complete its five years of tenure," he said.

Meanwhile, BJP Rajasthan unit President Satish Poonia rejected claims by the Congress that the BJP was behind the present political uncertainty in the state.

"We are not even thinking about forming a government in the state. This government will fall of its own 'karma' (deeds). We (BJP) are sitting in the spectator's gallery and watching the drama unfold," Poonia told ANI.

It is not the responsibility of the BJP to save a government that is falling due to internal bickering, he said.

Pilot's former colleague and BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the Rajasthan Deputy CM is being "sidelined" and "persecuted" by Gehlot.

"Sad to see my erstwhile colleague, Sachin Pilot too, being sidelined and persecuted by Rajasthan CM, Ashok Gehlot. Shows that talent and capability find little credence in the Congress," tweeted Scindia, who quit Congress in March to join BJP. (ANI)