Hours after Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot appeared to have survived the immediate challenge to his government on Tuesday, Congress rebel Sachin Pilot’s team made it clear that this was just the beginning. “Today, this was a 20-20 match. The test match begins tomorrow,” Vishvendra Singh, one of the two ministers to be dropped from the Gehlot government earlier in the day along with Sachin Pilot, tweeted.
“Now you see what happens next,” he said, a warning that appeared to be directed at Ashok Gehlot.
Earlier today, in the biggest development of the day,Gehlot had leaned on party to get Pilotfiredfrom all position of prominence in the government and the party right after a show of strength in a legislative party meet called at a city hotel, making people question if Sachin Pilot had been outwitted by the old political warhorse in a tussle for power in Rajasthan.
While Gehlot had successfully paraded 102 MLAs this morning to signal that he had the numerical superiority to survive a floor test in the 200-member strong state assembly, Sachin Pilot’s decision to stand his ground suggested he was confident of his numbers as well.
He had claimed to have the support of 30 MLAs including some from other parties. Congress has a total of 107 MLAs in the assembly, followed by BJP’s 72 MLAs. 88 Congress MLAs, 10 independents, two legislatures from the Bharatiya Tribal Party and one CPM MLA was present today at the Fairmont hotel in Jaipur.
According to the party, the chief minister, however, claimed to have the support of 104 MLAs when he met the governor later in the day. He could be counting on Assembly Speaker C P Joshi, indisposed minister Bhanwarlal Meghwal and another CPI(M) legislator.
Whether Pilot has the support of 30 MLAs or if that number could eventually t