The political impasse continues in Rajasthan on Tuesday as the Congress high command has shown its displeasure with its MLAs skipping the Congress legislature Party (CLP) meeting.
The party’s high command is aghast over its MLAs holding a parallel meeting at the Rajasthan Parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal’s house.
However, several MLAs of Congress have reiterated and said that their confidence lies in the party high command.
On Monday, the Rajasthan Congress in-charge Ajay Maken told the media that the act of skipping the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting and holding a parallel meeting by the MLAs on Sunday night at Dhariwal’s house was an act of indiscipline.
However, hours after Maken’s statement to the media, Rajasthan minister Shanti Dhariwal accuses Maken of being partial toward Congress leader and former deputy CM Sachin Pilot.
The revolt from Gehlot loyalists came after Rahul Gandhi insisted on the "One man one post" strategy be followed in Rajasthan.
If followed, it would force the Gehlot, the front-runner for the post of the party's national president, the election for which is due on October 197, to quit the CM’s post,
After Maken’s statement, several MLAs known to be loyalists of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot made a U-turn and openly said that they had full faith in the high command’s decision.
MLAs make U-turn
Divya Maderna, a Congress MLA from Osian constituency in Jodhpur division criticized the Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi for calling all MLAs for the meeting but instead holding a parallel meeting.
“How can Mahesh Joshi boycott the CLP meeting being a chief whip of the party? Now-onwards I will not be taking any directions of party whip from him. He phoned all legislators to come for CLP and he on parallel led anti-party activity at S Dhariwal’s residence”.
Divya was tweeting in response to a video byte in which the Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi, a Gehlot loyalist had said the high command should make anyone CM but it should be from the Gehlot camp.
“The high Command can make anyone CM, make a new CM or keep CM Gehlot intact, it should not be one of those who revolted against the party, tried to weaken it," State minister & Gehlot loyalist, Mahesh Joshi had told media.
Other than Divya, Khetri MLA Jitendra Singh and Ramnarain Meena from Kota have also reassured their support for the high command’s decision.
Interestingly another Congress leader Indira Meena, MLA from Sawai Madhopur also told the media that she was not aware that the letter she was made to sign on Sunday night mentioned the resignation of MLAs.
“I was asked to sign the letter, but I was not aware that it meant resignation. Our faith is in the Congress high command”, Meena told the media.
Interestingly none of these MLAs belongs to Sachin Pilot camp or supported him when he rebelled in 2020.
When the Congress won the Rajasthan polls in 2018, Sachin Pilot, the state Congress chief then, was promised that the job of Chief Minister would be shared between him and Ashok Gehlot.
Pilot was made the deputy CM and he continued to be the party president for 18 months after Congress won the state.
However showing his displeasure with the posts given to him, he along with his 20 MLAs rebelled in 2020. They camped in Haryana for a month which resulted in a political crisis in Rajasthan. Pilot was removed from the post of Deputy CM and PCC chief. Later after an intervention of Congress's high command and a meeting with Priyanka Gandhi, Pilot agreed to end the rebellion.
In the Assembly of 200 seats, the ruling Congress has 106 MLAs, the BJP 71, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) three, the CPI(M) and Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) two each, and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) one. The Assembly has 13 independent legislators.