Even the political crisis in Rajasthan widened on a fast pace with an FIR being filed against Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and two others and the disqualification case reaching the high court, it has now emerged that Sachin Pilot was sacked as the deputy CM after he reportedly refused to budge from his demand to be made the chief minister within a year.
According to a report in NDTV, Pilot had repeatedly asked to be made the Chief Minister within one year and refused to meet with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi unless they were ready to accept his demand.
It is reported that he had also made the demand in his phone call with Congress General Sectretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, hours after which he was sacked.
As per sources quoted by NDTV, the rebel leader had spoken to Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday and she heard him out patiently. She even assured him that “she would speak to Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi”.
However, Pilot reportedly expressed his lack of trust on the Congress leadership.
According to sources, upset over the developments, Sachin Pilot asked how can the party talk of of rapprochement when it is acting against him. He said while the Congress leadership at the centre is claiming that the doors of the party are open to him, he was sacked and disqualification notice was sent to him.
In a major development in the ongoing political crisis, the BJP today demanded a CBI probe into the Rajasthan audio tapes, wherein it is alleged that Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, BJP leader Sanjay Jain and rebel Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma held “horse-trading” discussions to bring down the Ashok Gehlot government.
The BJP on Saturday hit back on the Ashok Gehlot government not only denying charges of alleged bid to break the Congress party but also claimed that the dessert state is witnessing an “indirect emergency”.
Calling the Rajasthan political crisis a “drama”, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that it is a “brazen cocktail of conspiracy, lies, fraud and defiance of law.”
The remarks come a day after BJP leader and businessman Sanjay Jain was arrested by the Special Operations Group (SOG) team of Rajasthan Police on Friday, under sections 124-A (sedition) and 120-B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Following the release of what is claimed to be the transcripts of the alleged audio conversations, an FIR was filled by the Special Operations Group (SOG) against Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, BJP leader Sanjay Jain and rebel Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma on Friday.
Meanwhile, in a breather for the sacked Deputy Chief Minister and his 18 loyal MLAs, the Rajasthan High Court on Friday stopped the Assembly Speaker from taking any action for their disqualification till Tuesday.
The Pilot camp had challenged the validity and legality of the notice sent to them on Tuesday by Speaker CP Joshi, asking them to explain why they should not be disqualified as Assembly members for defying the party whip.
The writ petition, filed by Prithviraj Meena and other rebel MLAs, argued that “free speech” cannot be labelled as “anti-party activity”, and termed as “motivated” the complaint filed on behalf of Congress Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi.
After Sachin Pilot and the rebel MLAs gave the second CLP meeting a miss on Tuesday, the MLAs, who were reportedly present showing their support to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, had unanimously demanded that Pilot be removed from the party.
Following this, the Congress announced the removal of Sachin Pilot as the Deputy Chief Minister as well as the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief.
Two other ministers, Vishvender Singh and Ramesh Meena, who joined him in his revolt, were also dropped from the Ashok Gehlot cabinet.
On Tuesday evening, Pilot and 18 rebel MLAs were served notices by assembly Speaker CP Joshi for allegedly flouting the party whip and not attending Congress Legislative Party meetings called on Monday and Tuesday. They were asked to respond by Friday.
The crisis exploded following the night of July 10 when the Rajasthan Police sent a notice to Pilot, asking him to record his statement over an alleged attempt to bring down the government.
On July 12, the sulking leader declared open rebellion against his party by claiming that he has the support of 30 MLAs.