At least 19 Congress legislators are now supporting Sachin Pilot, the deputy chief minister of Rajasthan who by his absence from the state this weekend has fuelled major speculation about an imminent exit and split of the party.
The absence came soon after the special operations group (SOG) of the state police’s anti-terror squad posted a notice at his residence to appear for questioning.
The questioning is to take place in connection with the case registered on Friday by the ATS that there was a plot to bring down the Ashok Gehlot government.
The first information report (FIR) and the alleged tapped phone conversations have put on record what has otherwise been an open secret—that chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy do not get along.
What everyone is now wondering is if this episode will push Pilot to quit the Congress party.
A central Congress leader who reached out to Pilot said that he has not been taking their calls.
“This was taking humiliation to a different level. He just got a call on Saturday that they had posted this notice and left. Is this how a deputy chief minister is treated?’’ a leader, who is close to Pilot, asked.
While officials of the Rajasthan government say that the notice was also sent to the chief minister as well, the leader quoted above called the summon a “joke”.
“The chief minister also holds the home portfolio, so how can they question him? This is all very sinister as this FIR will give them a reason to put surveillance on the deputy chief minister,’’ the BJP leader said.
As the fallout of this very public saga slowly unravelled, the resort