Jaipur/New Delhi: Congress MLAs were holed up Monday in a resort near Jaipur after a legislature party meeting, where they expressed support for Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and only indirectly referred to Sachin Pilot, whose rebellion threatens his government.
Sources said top party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were also in touch with Pilot, assuring that his grievances will be addressed.
A resolution adopted at the Congress Legislature Party meeting urged “strong disciplinary action” against any party office-bearer or CLP member who does anything to weaken the government or the party. But the resolution stopped short of naming Pilot, who is the Deputy Chief Minister and also heads the State unit of the party.
Before the meeting, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala also adopted a conciliatory tone, saying Pilot and other MLAs could still attend the CLP meeting from which they had distanced themselves.
“Doors are open for Sachin Pilot and other MLAs. They will be heard and solutions will be found. This is the discipline of the party,” Surjewala, who is the AICC spokesperson, said.
Apart from Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal are also learned to have spoken with Pilot.
Pilot has been upset since he was denied the Rajasthan Chief Minister’s post after the December 2018 Assembly elections. There was no official word on the number of MLAs who attended the meeting at Gehlot’s home, but party leaders claimed 106 legislators were there.
If correct, this staves off the immediate challenge posed by Pilot, who claimed on Sunday night that he has the support of over 30 of 107 Congress MLAs in the 200-member assembly.
But at least seven MLAs considered close to Pilot were not spotted at the CM’s house.
The CLP resolution blamed the BJP for the crisis.
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