Sachin Pilot out, Ashok Gehlot convenes his cabinet for late evening meeting
Ashok Gehlot has accused his former deputy of playing into the hands of the BJP.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, having edged out his rebel deputy out of cabinet, drove back from the resort where he was camping with his MLAs to his official residence to preside over a cabinet meet at his residence.
After the cabinet meeting, another meeting of the entire council of ministers, including the ministers of state, took place at the chief minister’s residence, reported PTI.
The Congress after having sent enough feelers over two days to Sachin Pilot to sit with the party and resolve issues, decided to crack the whip. After the leader skipped the second party meet called today, the party passed a resolution urging action against the rebel leaders.
Shortly after that chief Congress spokesperson announced that Sachin Pilot was sacked as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and also removed from state party chief post. The development came three days after Pilot mounted a rebellion against his chief minister and boss Ashok Gehlot.
Surjewala said Sachin Pilot enjoyed the affection and blessings of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and was given political power at a young age. Yet, he and other ministers were trying to topple the state government as part of a BJP conspiracy, he added. He also said that the decision was made with a “heavy heart”.
Two cabinet ministers -- Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena -- who are supporting Pilot were also sacked for their alleged involvement in a conspiracy to topple the Congress government in the state.
Pilot’s next move is not immediately clear. However during the run-up to Tuesday’s Congress legislature party meeting, the second in as many days which he again skipped, his supporters insisted that he had no plans to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. They said their aim was a leadership change in Rajasthan.
“Truth can be rattled, not defeated,” Pilot tweeted in Hindi soon after he was sacked. He also changed his profile on Twitter, deleting all references to his positions as deputy chief minister and Rajasthan Congress chief.
Gehlot accused his former deputy of playing into the hands of the BJP. “I am very sad that horse trading was going on,” he said.
However, the mood within the party was sombre with most party leaders describing the turn of events as “unfortunate” and “sad”. Tarun Gogoi, a former Assam chief minister, compared Pilot’s situation as one he faced too and urged him to be patient. Former party MP Priya Dutt said she did not believe that being ambitious is “wrong”. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the development was “disappointing” for the party workers who have reposed faith in the Congress party.
The tension between the CM and his deputy, which has been on a slow burner since the 2018 state polls, reached a breaking point when Pilot received a notice from the special operations group (SOG) of Rajasthan police to record his statement regarding the alleged attempt to topple the Congress government in the state.