Jaipur:Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot here on Thursday came together on a same platform, nearly a month after parting ways over certain disagreements and pushing the state into a political crisis.
In the evening, Mr Pilot met Mr Gehlot at the latter's official residence, two days after returning to Jaipur from Haryana, where he, along with 18 other MLAs were cemented, after rebelling against the chief minister.
Both the leaders exchanged pleasantries and posed together for a photograph, making it difficult to believe that were arch rivals a few days ago.Later, members of the Gehlot and Pilot camps reached the Chief Minister's residence, to attend the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting, and discuss the political situation in the state.
Congress high command was instrumental in bringing the truce between the two powerful leaders, as it agreed to address the grievances of Mr Pilot and asked him to rejoin the party fold.Also, the coming together of both the leaders have apparently saved the Congress government in Rajasthan, which was struggling for numbers to retain its rule over the House.
Mr Gehlot had asked his supporters, who were initially unhappy over retaining the rebels, to move on and discharge their electoral responsibilities.The CLP meeting was underway at the time of filing this report. It is believed that the no-confidence motion called by the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party will come under discussion.
Rajasthan Assembly will start it's session on August 14, and a Floor test is very likely.Earlier in the day, Congress received a shot in it's arm, when the Supreme Court allowed six Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs to participate in the Floor test, if called and cast their vote.
The merger of six BSP MLAs with Congress after the Assembly polls in 2018, was challenged in the Apex Court last week.However, Ms Mayawati has issued a whip, asking its MLAs not to vote in favour of Mr Gehlot. The reason, she has put, is "teaching a lesson to Gehlot who stole her MLAs".
But, it is yet uncertain, as to who these MLAs will finally choose, during the vote.Also, the Congress revoked the suspension of two MLAs- Bhanwarlal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh- who were suspended last month over 'anti-party activities'.The revocation will allow them to exercise their franchise, thus cementing the position of Mr Gehlot firmly in the House.
On the other hand, BJP also called a Legislative Party meeting in its headquarters in Jaipur. Posting a picture on its official Twitter handle, BJP said all its 72 MLAs and three from its ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party attended the meeting, which was also underway at the time of filing this report.
As per sources, BJP will take up the number game of the Floor test and allegations, including horse-trading pressed by the ruling Congress, in the meeting.Earlier in the day, senior BJP leader and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje said that the Gehlot-led Congress government won't survive long.
BJP has also called a Legislative Party meeting at 0930 hrs on Friday.In the present Assembly, Congress has 107 MLAs, while BJP has 72. Thirteen independents, two MLAs each from the CPI(M) and the Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP), and one from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have supported the Congress.(UNI)