Sachin Pilot and other Congress rebels moved the Rajasthan high court on Thursday against the disqualification notice issued by assembly speaker CP Joshi to disqualify them as MLAs. The ruling Congress has sought their disqualification from the assembly for ‘anti-party activities’. The notice issued stated disqualification of the MLAs from assembly under the Tenth Schedule of the constitution of India. The MLAs were asked to respond to the speaker’s notice by Friday.
The MLAs deliberately absented themselves from the Congress legislature party meeting held on July 13 and 14.
If the rebel MLAs are disqualified, the majority mark will drop, making it easier for chief minister Ashok Gehlot to win a floor test. The majority mark in the 200-member assembly is 101. Gehlot has accused his former deputy of hobnobbing with the BJP to bring down his government. The BJP, with just 72 MLAs, has been gingerly watching the developments.
Despite Pilot categorically ruling out joining the BJP amid the power tussle within the Rajasthan unit, the Congress has alleged that he was colluding with the opposition party to topple the state government.
On Tuesday, the Congress sacked Pilot – credited with leading the party’s successful campaign in the 2018 assembly elections – both as deputy chief minister and also from the Pradesh Congress Committee chief posts. His two loyalists were also sacked as ministers.
On another track, the party has been making overtures with Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala calling upon Pilot and his supporters to stop all conversations with the BJP and return to Jaipur to thrash out differences.
Rajasthan Congress in-charge Avinash Pande too after Pilot’s remark that he is not joining the BJP tweeted that the party doors are “not shut on him”. He also wished that lord would grant the leader the good sense and comes out of the “elusive trap of the BJP”.
Since his removal from the state cabinet, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been in touch with Pilot while Rahul Gandhi’s brief to his emissary KC Venugopal was to try to hold Pilot back.
The fight between the two leaders reached a tipping point when Pilot was asked to record his statement with the Special Operations Group team of the Rajasthan police in an alleged case of bribing MLAs for a coup by the BJP.
The Pilot camp has maintained that they are fighting for dignity and are not after posts or positions.