Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders held out invites to Sachin Pilot, offering to welcome the Congress leader into the saffron fold after he was stripped off his status as chief of the party unit in Rajasthan and the deputy chief minister earlier in the day.
“If anybody with a mass base joins the BJP or any political party, everybody welcomes him. Expressing trust in our ideology, if anybody joins us we will welcome him with open arms. This is a normal procedure,” Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, according to news agency PTI soon after Pilot was dropped from the Ashok Gehlot cabinet on Tuesday afternoon.
Former union minister of state PP Chaudhary said he expected more people from the Congress to join Pilot.
“So many people joining Sachin is a big thing, and I believe more will join him. BJP’s doors are open for everybody if he believes in our ideology. If Sachin Pilot joins us, I don’t think there will be any problem. Our national leadership, though, will take the final call,” PTI quoted Chaudhary as saying.
Chaudhary, however, added that the national leadership will ultimately decide if such a union was possible.
A leader aware of developments said the senior BJP leaders including former chief minister Vasundhara Raje will hold discussions over the current political situation in the state tomorrow after the virtual split in the Congress legislature party following Pilot’s removal.
The BJP has indicated that it is adopting a hands-off approach and keenly watching the unfolding of political situation in Rajasthan. The party believes that it is time for the Gehlot government to go after the rebellion led by Sachin Pilot who appears to have the support of nearly 16 MLAs.
Chief Minister Ashok Ge