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Monday, August 03, 2020

Rajasthan Government Crisis HIGHLIGHTS: Meeting of ministers at Gehlot’s residence concludes

Sachin Pilot removed from the post of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan Congress chief. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accused the BJP of conspiring against his government.

By: Express Web Desk | Jaipur, New Delhi | Updated: July 15, 2020 8:50:49 am
Rajasthan crisis, Rajasthan government crisis, Ashok Gehlot close aides, Sachin Pilot Ashok Gehlot tiff, India news, Indian Express Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (C) with senior Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, Avinash Pandey, Ajay Maken and K.C. Venugopal flashes victory sign during a meeting with the party MLAs at his residence in Jaipur, Monday, July 13, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Rajasthan Government crisis: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and other ministers met at the CM’s residence Tuesday evening for a Cabinet meeting, hours after the ruling Congress sacked Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and two others from the cabinet. Gehlot and the other ministers arrived there from the hotel where they were holed up amid the power tussle between Gehlot and Pilot.

In his first statement after the sacking of his deputy Sachin Pilot, Gehlot alleged that the entire Pilot camp is playing into BJP’s camp. Gehlot, who had met Governor Kalraj Misra, accused the BJP of conspiring against the government. “There is nothing in Sachin Pilot’s hands, it is the BJP which is running the show. BJP has arranged that resort and they are managing everything,” he said, adding that the party was forced to take a decision against Pilot.

After a no-show from Sachin Pilot at the CLP meetings, the Rajasthan Congress had decided to sack him as the Deputy Chief Minister. Cracking the whip on the rebel party leader, the party had also removed his loyalists Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena from the state cabinet. Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara will replace Pilot as the Rajasthan Congress president. Hem Singh Shekhawat made Sewa Dal state president. Minutes after Congress’ presser, Pilot tweeted, “Truth can be troubled, cannot be defeated.”

Amid the infighting, Pilot-led Rajasthan Congress camp had on Monday night released a video showing at least 16 MLAs sitting together. The same day, the Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party passed a resolution to extend their support to the Ashok Gehlot-led government, which Pilot claimed, has been reduced to a minority.

Live Blog

Sachin Pilot dropped as Rajasthan Deputy CM and state Congress chief after he skips second Congress meeting today

01:42 (IST)15 Jul 2020
Who is Govind Singh Dotasara?

After joining the Congress party in 2005 while working as a lawyer, Dotasara won his first assembly elections in 2008 from the Lakshmangarh constituency. Ever since then, he has held the seat for three consecutive times. READ MORE

22:39 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Congress needs mindset change, must put mass leaders in forefront: Haryana MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi

The rumblings in Rajasthan Congress have drawn a reaction from party’s Haryana MLA, Kuldeep Bishnoi, who has said that Congress high command needs to change its mindset and bring mass leaders in the forefront.

In a two-minute video message that he posted on his Twitter handle Monday, Bishnoi, the son of former Haryana CM Bhajan Lal, urged the Congress leadership to “do everything possible to persuade Rajasthan’s former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot”, adding that the “party will suffer immense loss with Pilot’s exit too like it suffered great loss due to Scindia’s exit”.

22:27 (IST)14 Jul 2020
BJP to hold meeting in Jaipur tomorrow, Vasundhara Raje in attendance

Former chief minister and senior BJP leader Vasundhara Raje is expected in Jaipur tomorrow where the BJP will hold a meeting over the current political situation in the state. The meeting will begin after Raje's arrival, who is currently in Dholpur. 

22:14 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Council of ministers meeting at CM residence concludes

The meeting of council of ministers in Rajasthan has concluded. The meeting was held at the residence of chief minister Ashok Gehlot hours after the ruling Congress sacked Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and two others from the cabinet. The ministers who attended the meeting have left for Fairmont hotel where they were holed up amid the power tussle between Gehlot and Pilot.

21:37 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Did nothing wrong, say Cong MLAs on sacking from Rajasthan Cabinet

Sacked from the Rajasthan Cabinet for backing dissident leader Sachin Pilot, Congress MLAs Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena insisted Tuesday that they had done nothing wrong. They, along with Pilot, were removed as Cabinet ministers for their alleged involvement in the "conspiracy to topple" the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in the state. Vishvendra Singh, who is an MLA from Deeg-Kumher, was the state tourism minister while Meena held the portfolio of the food and civil supplies minister.

"Where did we make any statement against the party? We wanted to draw the attention of the party high-command to the fact that we were not able to deliver on things promised in the manifesto for which the public elected us," Vishvendra Singh said in a video message.

20:11 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Sad to see Sachin Pilot leave Congress: Shashi Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor expressed disappointment over the removal of Sachin Pilot from the post of Rajasthan deputy CM, saying he was one of the best leaders in the Congress fold and he should have joined efforts to make the party better instead of parting from it.

19:36 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Sachin Pilot expresses gratitude to supporters

Rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot Tuesday expressed gratitude to his supporters after he was sacked from the posts of Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state Congress president. In a tweet, he said, "My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all those who have come out in my support today. Ram Ram sa."

19:17 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Congress loses a stalwart with huge potential in Pilot: Priya Dutt

Former Congress MP Priya Dutt on Tuesday said it was "unfortunate" the party has lost stalwart young leaders with great potential like him and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Dutt said she did not believe that being ambitious is "wrong".

"Another friend leaves the party both Sachin and Jyotirajya were colleagues & good friends unfortunately our party has lost 2 stalwart young leaders with great potential. I don't believe being ambitious is wrong. They have worked hard through the most difficult times," the former MP from Mumbai tweeted.

19:11 (IST)14 Jul 2020
CM Gehlot leaves for Cabinet meeting at his residence

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, along with state ministers, leave from Fairmont Hotel for his residence. State cabinet meeting to be held at CM's residence at 7:30 pm and meeting of Council of Ministers at 8:00 pm today.

17:54 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Sachin Pilot must have been facing humiliation in Congress: Uma Bharti

BJP leader Uma Bharti has attributed Sachin Pilot's rebellion to "humiliation" within the Congress. "Sachin is the son of (late Congress leader) Rajesh Pilot, who was like a brother to me and we shared family relations. So I know that his family has self-respect," PTI quoted her as saying.

"I can understand he must have been facing humiliation for the last one and a half years," she added.

Bharti also alleged that Rahul Gandhi was responsible for the "destruction" of the Congress, and held the Gandhi family responsible for the crisis in Rajasthan.

"He (Rahul Gandhi) insults and humiliates young leaders (in his party) due to envy....he is unable to tolerate brilliant young leaders. So these leaders are left with no option but to confront and fight," the senior BJP leader said. (PTI)

17:18 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Rajasthan Cabinet, council of minister to meet today evening

The Rajasthan state Cabinet will meet today at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's residence at 7:30 pm followed by meeting of Council of Ministers at 8:00 pm.

16:43 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Every flight plan includes an alternate airport: Baijayant Panda on Sachin Pilot's sacking

Taking a dig at the Rajasthan government over the sacking of Sachin Pilot, BJP leader Baijayant Panda Tuesday said, "In aviation, every flight plan includes an alternate airport or airstrip to divert to in the event of technical problems or severe bad weather. Every experienced pilot knows this."

16:01 (IST)14 Jul 2020
If CM wants to expand his Cabinet, he should first prove majority on floor: BJP's Gulab Chandra Kataria

"A vertical division can be seen in Congress party in Rajasthan, with the sacking of Deputy CM. Now, if the chief minister wants to expand his Cabinet, he should first prove majority on the floor. He will not send a good message if he does it without floor test," BJP's Gulab Chandra Kataria tells news agency ANI.

15:46 (IST)14 Jul 2020
No one can take away the fact that Sachin worked with dedication for Cong: Jitin Prasada

Congress leader Jitin Prasada Tuesday said no one can take away the fact that Sachin Pilot has long worked with dedication for the party.

Prasada, considered a leader of the party's "young brigade", also expressed the hope that the situation can be salvaged.

"Sachin Pilot is not just a colleague but my friend. No one can take away the fact that all these years he has worked with dedication for the party," Prasada tweeted.

15:26 (IST)14 Jul 2020
We tried to reach out but hobnobbing with BJP has taken place: Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot on sacking of Sachin Pilot: "The attitude was similar to the saying 'aa bail mujhe maar' given the tweets & statements of last few months... I've been impartial to all MLAs...no one is happy about the decisions & we tried to reach out but hobnobbing with BJP has taken place." (ANI)

15:22 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Rajasthan govt on autopilot as CM busy chasing Pilot: Union minister

Taking a dig at the crisis-hit Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday said that the dispensation is on autopilot as the chief minister is "busy chasing a Pilot".

"Sad to see Rajasthan Govt on auto-pilot because the CM is busy chasing a Pilot," Union Jal Shakti minister Shekhawat tweeted.

Shekhawat is an MP from Jodhpur in Rajasthan. He also made a veiled attack on the Gandhi family without taking its name.

"Looking at the rebellion clearly indicates that there is a lot of suffocation in the King's palace," Shekhawat tweeted.

"Why does the headmaster's son come first in the class?" he added. (PTI)

15:19 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Sachin Pilot camp is playing into BJP's hand: Ashok Gehlot

In his first statement after sacking of his deputy Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Tuesday said the Congress party gave him full opportunity and invited him and his loyalists to the CLP meeting on Monday and Tuesday but he did not turn up. He also alleged that the entire Pilot camp is playing into BJP's camp.

CM @ashokgehlot51'speaks on @SachinPilot camp: @IndianExpress#Rajasthan #RajasthanPolitics #RajasthanPoliticalCrisis #GehlotVsPilot pic.twitter.com/NagcvUHnEw

— Hamza Khan (@Hamzwa) July 14, 2020

15:02 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Monitoring situation closely: Rajasthan BJP chief

"People are angry and disappointed with this govt and no power in the world can save it. Our priority is that this govt loses power. We are vigilant, monitoring the situation & will decide our strategy as the situation unfolds," Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia said. 

14:48 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Sachin Pilot changes bio on twitter

Soon after being sacked by Congress as Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress unit chief, Sachin Pilot changed his bio on Twitter to MLA from Tonk. 

14:44 (IST)14 Jul 2020
Rajasthan Guv accepts proposal to drop Sachin Pilot as Deputy CM

Rajasthan governor Kalraj Mishra has accepted CM Ashok Gehlot's proposal to remove Sachin Pilot as Deputy CM, and Vishvender Singh and Ramesh Meena as ministers, news agency ANI reported

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met Governor Kalraj Mishra at Raj Bhawan in Jaipur

Sachin Pilot, Sachin Pilot Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister, Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister, India news, Indian Express Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot claimed that the Congress government in the state has been reduced to a minority.

Top Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, are in touch with Sachin Pilot and are trying to placate him, sources told news agency PTI on Monday. According to sources, top Congress leaders have talked to Pilot and have asked him not to rebel against the chief minister. They also assured him that his grievances would be redressed at the party level. Besides Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, other Congress leaders who are learnt to have spoken with Pilot are Ahmed Patel, former Union finance minister P Chidambaram and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal.

The move to test the political waters of Congress in the state comes just four months after the party let Madhya Pradesh slip from its grasp. Meanwhile, the BJP is watching closely to see if it can find an opportunity put up an alternate arrangement in Jaipur. But the party is not yet ready to take any step, a source said. "We are just watching the situation. The game still does not appear to be set for the BJP," a senior party leader said.

In what appears to be a showdown by Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot almost 18 months after Congress returned to power in the state, his office on Sunday claimed that the Ashok Gehlot-led government was reduced to a minority after over 30 Congress and some independent legislators pledged support to Pilot.

The statement issued by Lokendra Singh, who manages media relations for Pilot, also said, “Rajasthan Deputy CM & Congress leader Sachin Pilot not to attend Congress Legislative Party meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow.”

Pilot has remained incommunicado for the past two days, and some legislators backing him also stayed put in the National Capital Region. He was inactive on social media too, and did not respond to calls or text messages by Congress leaders. His silence, however, fueled speculation in New Delhi over his next course of action. When asked if he was joining the BJP, Pilot told The Indian Express, “I am not joining the BJP.”

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