The Congress government in Rajasthan is facing a crisis after the long-standing differences between chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot have tumbled out.
Sachin Pilot has also been miffed over a police notice to him over a probe concerning an alleged attempt to topple the Ashok Gehlot government.
Pilot, who is also the chief of the Congress’ state unit, has been camping in Delhi and has met senior leaders of the party over the weekend.
The 42-year-old leader along with his supporters did not attend the meeting of Congress legislators on Monday in Jaipur. He has also turned down his party’s invitation to attend the next meeting on Tuesday.
Here is how the crisis in Rajasthan has boiled over:
* It started with a July 10 notice of the special operations group (SOG) of the state police’s anti-terror squad to Sachin Pilot and others. It asked them to appear for questioning in connection with the case registered by the ATS that there was a plot to bring down the Ashok Gehlot government started the current crisis.
* The SOG had said on Saturday that it has arrested BJP members Bharat Malani and Ashok Singh for allegedly trying to topple the government by offering Rs 20-25 crore bribe each to unspecified legislators – acharge levelled by Gehlot. A First Information Report (FIR) was filed against the two under Indian Penal Code’s sections related to sedition and criminal conspiracy on Friday.
* Gehlot had on Saturday accused the BJP of trying to “buy legislators like goats” and later said at a virtual press conference that the BJP’s “brazen attempt” was thwarted by the Congress. The charge has been vehemently denied by the BJP.
* Pilot came to Delhi on Saturday and met senior leader Ahmed Patel to discuss the issue. He told the senior leader known to be a close aide of party president, Sonia Gandhi, during the special one-on-one meeting that his differences with Ashok Gehlot had gone too far. Along with him were at least 19 Congress legislators who were lodged in various resorts, including an ITC Grand Bharat in Gurugram.
* On Sunday, several legislators and ministers met Ashok Gehlot at his residence to convey that they were with the chief minister inthe hour of crisis.
* Late on Sunday, the Congress party rushed two central observers – Randeep Singh Surjewala and Ajay Maken – to Jaip