Rajasthan: Congress claims support of 109 MLAs
In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the BJP 72. Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot has openly displayed rebellion against the leadership of CM Gehlot and claimed that he has support of 30 Congress and some independent legislators.
The ruling Congress party has issued a whip to all party legislators mandating their presence during the meeting which will be convened at 10.30 am by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot amid the deepening political crisis in Rajasthan. The crucial meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) will be held at the chief minister's residence Monday.
Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who has been camping in Delhi, has made it clear that he is not going to attend the meeting.
In a statement issued on Sunday night, Pilot had claimed that the Ashok Gehlot government was in minority and more than 30 Congress and some independent legislators have pledged support to him. By doing so, he has openly displayed rebellion against the leadership of Gehlot.
But Avinash Pande, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan, has said that 109 MLAs have signed a letter of support to the chief minister. He said that some other MLAs are in touch with Gehlot and they will also sign the letter.
"Action will be taken against those who skip the meeting," Pande said referring to the meeting on Monday.
"As many as 109 MLAs have signed the letter to express full confidence in the Congress government led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Some other MLAs have spoken to the chief minister over the phone and they will also sign the letter," he told reporters at the CM's residence here in the wee hours.
Pilot on Sunday claimed that the Gehlot government is in minority as over 30 Congress MLAs have "pledged support" to him.
In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the BJP 72.
Chief Minister Gehlot had on Saturday alleged that the opposition BJP was trying to lure Congress MLAs to topple the state government.
"There is no reason for the BJP to cheer. Congress government will complete its five-year term," said senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.
The BJP has said that it is not behind the developments and they only reflected the power struggle between Gehlot and Pilot, simmering since the Congress leadership in Delhi picked the more senior politician for the CM's post.
The Congress has the support of 10 out of 13 independents, and other party MLAs like Rashtriya Lok Dal (1), which is its ally. The Congress also considers Bhartiya Tribal Party (2) and CPI(M) (2) MLAs as their supporters.
BJP ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) has three MLAs in the assembly.
(With inputs from PTI)