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Rajasthan politics: 92 Cong MLAs including Ministers tender resignations to Speaker

Chief Whip of the ruling Congress and PHED Minister Dr Mahesh Joshi, Deputy Whip Mahendra Choudhary, CM’s advisor Sanyam Lodha, Parliamentary Affairs and UDH Minister Shanti Dhariwal handed over the resignations to the Speaker after three hours of political drama at Dhariwal’s residence where MLAs decided to quit if their three point demands are not fulfilled. 

SNS | Jaipur |

In a strong move to stop Sachin Pilot from becoming the Chief Minister before Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s filing nomination for the party President post, altogether ninety two Congress MLAs including senior Ministers have en masse submitted their resignations to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly Speaker Dr C P Joshi at his residence late on Sunday night.

Chief Whip of the ruling Congress and PHED Minister Dr Mahesh Joshi, Deputy Whip Mahendra Choudhary, CM’s advisor Sanyam Lodha, Parliamentary Affairs and UDH Minister Shanti Dhariwal handed over the resignations to the Speaker after three hours of political drama at Dhariwal’s residence where MLAs decided to quit if their three point demands are not fulfilled.

The Gehlot government’s spokesman and cabinet minister Pratap Singh Khachariawas told reporters outside the Speaker residence last night that 92 MLAs were at Speaker’s residence and Chief Whip & other leaders submitted the resignations.

“All these legislators are annoyed and have said that the party high command and RaGa should listen to them, and not pick the next CM from anyone among those who revolted (against Gehlot) in 2020 when BJP was allegedly indulged in poaching of MLAs”, Khachariawas said.

“These MLAs want that the next CM should be picked from among the 102 Congress MLAs who stood firm by the party during the 35 days of crisis in 2020, and not from the MLAs who camped in Manesar (Haryana)”, Lodha who was first to interact with media outside the Dhariwal house said.

“Protesting MLAs desire that the party high command shall choose anyone from 102 MLAs as a new face of CM in Rajasthan. And all such move be initiated after the declaration of the Party President poll result on October 19”, Lodha and Khachariawas added.

Congress has 108 MLAs in the house of 200 legislators while the BJP has 71, RLP 3, BTP and CPM-2 each, RLD 1. Thirteen Independent MLAs are also supporting the Gehlot government.

Sachin Pilot, former Deputy Chief Minister who is eyeing the CM post with the consent of party high command specially RaGa and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, had to leave the CM Residence with his 15 to 20 MLAs (including some MoS) for his residence which was very close to the Governor House and CP Joshi bungalow.

Ved Prakash Solanki, a strong follower of Pilot, told the Media that “We will go with the decision of the party high command. None of us have made any comment and statement on social media and interacted with media persons”.

Two Congress observers Mallikarjun Kharge, RS MP, and Ajay Makan, AICC General secretary stayed at the 7 star hotel and waited for clearance from the CM Residence where the CLP was to be held.

It is learnt after this protest, Gehlot had received calls from Venugopal on the instructions of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, but detail was not divulged anywhere so far.   Many of the MLAs who tendered their resignations returned to their home after 10:30 pm, though the Speaker hosted a dinner for them.