Immediately after his sacking as Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief, rebel leader Sachin Pilot tweeted that “truth can be harassed but not defeated”.
Pilot also changed his bio on Twitter. The new bio introduced him as an MLA from Tonk and former minister of IT, Telecom & Corporate affairs. He removed his designation as the deputy chief minister of Rajasthan and state party chief.
सत्य को परेशान किया जा सकता है पराजित नहीं।
— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) July 14, 2020
The 42-year-old leader stood up his party once again by skipping a meeting of its legislators organized at a hotel on the outskirts of Jaipur today.
Two other ministers, Vishvender Singh and Ramesh Meena, who joined him in his revolt, have also been dropped from the Ashok Gehlot cabinet.
In today’s Congress Legislative Party meeting, 102 MLAs were reportedly present showing their support to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and had unanimously demanded that Sachin Pilot be removed from the party after he failed to show up for the second time in a row.
On Monday too, Pilot and his flock of 18 MLAs had given the CLP meeting a miss.
Following this, a resolution by MLAs called for “strict disciplinary action” against anyone who did anything to weaken the government or the party.
Meanwhile, following the decision to drop Pilot from the Rajasthan Cabinet, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met Governor Kalraj Mishra, at Raj Bhawan in Jaipur where he submitted the proposal to remove Sachin Pilot as Deputy CM, and Vishvender Singh and Ramesh Meena as ministers.
The Governor has accepted the proposal.
Speaking to reporters after the unexpected turn of events, CM Gehlot said the High Command was compelled to take the decision because since a long time, the BJP was “conspiring and resorting to horse-trading”.
“We knew it was a big conspiracy; now some of our friends went astray because of it and went to Delhi,” the Rajasthan CM said.
He further said that “there is nothing in Sachin Pilot’s hands as it is the BJP which is running the show.” “BJP has arranged that resort and they are managing everything. The same team which worked in Madhya Pradesh is at work here,” he added.
Further speaking on Sachin Pilot’s removal, Gehlot said, “The attitude was similar to the saying ‘aa bail mujhe maar’ [A Hindi idiom which refers to situations where a person rather solving the issues, himself gets unknowingly involved] given the tweets and statements of last few months… I have been impartial to all MLAs… no one is happy about the decisions and we tried to reach out but hobnobbing with BJP has taken place”.
Congress leader RS Surjewala, who first announced Pilot’s removal as Deputy CM, told reporters that he regrets Sachin Pilot and some of his associates have been “swayed by BJP’s plot and are now conspiring to topple the Congress government elected by 8 crore Rajasthanis”. “It is unacceptable,” he added.
The Congress has alleged that Pilot has been “ensnared” by the BJP into working to bring down the Congress government in Rajasthan, while adding that the leader had been given much recognition and key posts throughout his career with the party.
Sachin Pilot had on Monday released a video showing MLAs in his camp sitting together in a resort in Haryana’s Manesar. The MLAs can be seen sitting together and talking, though Pilot is not visible in the video. They haven’t disclosed the place where the video has been recorded.
The sulking leader had declared open rebellion against his party claiming on Sunday that he has the support of 30 MLAs.
However, Rajasthan Congress has claimed that 109 MLAs have signed a letter of support to the chief minister. The Congress sources have also thrashed Pilot’s claims saying that he has not more than 16 MLAs with him.
Sachin Pilot has been sulking since he was denied the Chief Minister’s post after the December 2018 assembly elections.