Sachin Pilot, said to be the youngest neta to have grown so well in the field of politics in so little time, who is giving a tough knock to the Rajasthan’s Congress government, especially, to the chief minister, Ashok Gehlot, now has a new name “a rebel leader” of the Congress party. Thanks to him, the country has more interesting news to look forward to than the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its inevitableness. With only alleged 19 MLAs on his trail, Pilot may look outnumbered but he is reported to be determined to march against CM Gehlot and oust him from the position that should’ve rightfully been his. What looks like a political crisis, is nothing less than a battle of egos.
On July 12, when a noticeable number of members were not found at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting that was held at the Rajasthan CM’s residence, the rebellion’s battle began. The rivalry between Dy. CM, Sachin Pilot, and CM, Ashok Gehlot, has been an open secret ever since the Congress Party high commands chose Gehlot over Pilot, as Congress was convinced that under the leadership of Ashok Gehlot, the party’s 2019 lok sabha election tally will increase, which was not the case.
Instead, Congress ended up losing 25 of it’s seats to BJP. Pilot’s recent revolt is the aftermath of the notices that were sent to not only Deputy Chief Minister, Sachin Pilot himself, but also Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, by Special Operations Group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police requesting them to record their statements on Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) being, allegedly, ‘poached’ with an aim to topple the functioning Congress government.
“The SOG has sent notices to chief minister, deputy chief minister, chief whip and other ministers and MLAs to record their statements after a complaint by the Congress about the BJP’s attempt to buy legislators. Some media outlets are presenting it in a different way which is not right.” tweeted Ashok Gehlot, in Hindi.
एसओजी को जो कांग्रेस विधायक दल ने बीजेपी नेताओं द्वारा खरीद-फरोख्त की शिकायत की थी उस संदर्भ में मुख्यमंत्री, उपमुख्यमंत्री, चीफ व्हिप एवम अन्य कुछ मंत्री व विधायकों को सामान्य बयान देने के लिए नोटिस आए हैं। कुछ मीडिया द्वारा उसको अलग ढंग से प्रस्तुत करना उचित नहीं है।
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) July 12, 2020
The notice, however, did not go well with Pilot as he saw this as an act of waving him off, said a source close to him, reported PTI. The SOG arrested 2 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs, Ashok Singh and Bharat Malani for attempting to destabilise and topple the functioning government by means of offering 20-25 Crore and bribing unspecified legislators.
“Whether it is Satish Poonia or Rajendra Rathore, they are playing games to topple our government at the behest of their central leadership. They are offering Rs 10 crore in advance and Rs 15 crore after the government is toppled… these are the kind of promises they are making.” addressed Gehlot during a virtual media briefing, reported ANI.
On Saturday, July 11, Gehlot claimed that the BJP was indeed feeding Rs.15 Crore to legislators to switch sides and topple his government in the state.
Sachin Pilot filed an amended plea in the Rajasthan High Court against the notices sent to him in order to disqualify him from the state assembly, which was accepted on Thursday. The petition was first presented at 3pm on Thursday, in the court of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma but advocate Harish Salve bought time to file a fresh plea in favour of the dissident.
At 5pm, the dissident’s advocate submitted an amendment petition to which the court appointed a two-judge bench with the presence of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty, finally at 7:30pm. The bench did not assemble then and the matter was shifted to 1pm, Friday, 17th July.