Sachin Pilot leaves for Delhi amid resort politics of Rajasthan

Since the BJP has 24 extra seats, the Congress leaders apprehend that the saffron party would try to disturb the existing equation to grab the remaining votes.
Sachin Pilot

Jaipur, June 13 : Even as Congress MLAs remain under “lockup” in a private resort fearing poaching by the BJP in the Rajya Sabha elections, Deputy Chief Minister and PCC chief Sachin Pilot on Saturday left for Delhi, leaving the Congress workshop midway, triggering speculation in Congress circles.

Party sources said Pilot received a call from Delhi and he left the hotel where all party MLAs have been camping.

Pilot will brief the party leadership about the latest political scenario in the state, sources added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been camping in the private resort since Friday, keeping the MLAs (including Independents) together.

The MLAs have been asked to stay in the resort till June 19, the day of Rajya Sabha voting.

For three seats vacant in Rajasthan, the Congress has fielded two candidates, K.C. Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi, while the BJP has also fielded an equal number of candidates, Rajendra Gehlot and Omkar Singh Lakhawat, making the contest interesting.

The CM has accused the BJP of horse-trading and luring its MLAs to topple the state government. “The BJP is trying to repeat the MP story in Rajasthan”, Gehlot said.

A complaint has also been lodged with the Anti-Corruption Bureau and a special agency under the state government, alleging that a huge amount of unaccounted money has entered Rajasthan, and that it could have hawala trade links.

Strict action has been demanded against the accused trying to flout constitutional norms by luring the MLAs.

Meanwhile, Ramesh Meena, an MLA said to be close to the Pilot camp, has distanced himself from Congress meetings for “unknown reasons,” a matter which is being discussed in party circles along with Pilot’s Delhi visit.

Congress Observor T.S. Singh Dev said Meena, being a state minister, should have attended the Congress MLAs’ meetings.

What has set off alarm bells in Congress is BJP’s fielding of a second candidate.

In the 200-member Assembly, the ruling Congress has 107 MLAs, plus it has the support of 13 independents. The CPI (M) and BTP with 2 seats each have extended their conditional support to the Gehlot government.

The BJP has 72 MLAs with 3 RLD MLAs supporting the saffron party. Each Rajya Sabha seat needs 51 votes, going by which Congress can easily get two seats while BJP can get one.

Since the BJP has 24 extra seats, the Congress leaders apprehend that the saffron party would try to disturb the existing equation to grab the remaining votes.

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