Gehlot vs Pilot: BJP prefers wait and watch, questions Rajasthan Speaker's role 

Wednesday’s meeting was supposed to sharpen the party’s response towards Pilot and take up the agenda for the upcoming assembly session. 

Published: 16th July 2020 02:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2020 11:16 AM   |  A+A-

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot addresses the media after visiting the State Governor at his residence in Jaipur Tuesday July 14 2020. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan BJP has gone unpredictably quiet post Sachin Pilot’s ejection from the Congress post. The party did not hold its core committee meeting in Jaipur in which former CM Vasundhara Raje was expected to participate. 

Wednesday’s meeting was supposed to sharpen the party’s response towards Pilot and take up the agenda for the upcoming assembly session.  Till Tuesday, many BJP leaders were openly talking about Pilot’s “adjustment”.

But as soon as the rebel Congress leader made it clear he would have no truck with the saffron party, the BJP went back into its shell, indicating it preferred prudence to bravado. 

BJP managers did not hide their glee when Pilot and his MLAs parked themselves in a Manesar hotel on Saturday. Yet, a full-fledged saffron operation did not come about.

All that was visible, though, was BJP’s shadow that loomed everywhere — in conversations with Congress rebels or Independent MLAs or references to IT and ED raids on those considered close to Ashok Gehlot. 

Though nobody in the BJP is now openly talking about negotiations with the Pilot camp, sources say the party is working on two fronts:

Union Minister Gajendra Singh has been asked to assess the situation, while Jyotiraditya Scindia will discuss the matters with Pilot. 

Admitting Pilot in BJP is a thorny issue as the party is a divided house in Rajasthan: one faction is led by Raje, the other by RSS backers such as state BJP chief Satish Poonia, Gulab Chand Kataria and former stalwarts RS Rathore and Gajendra Singh.

So, while the BJP is eagerly waiting in the wings to strike, with Pilot himself under increasing pressure, the party has adopted a ‘wait and watch’ policy.

Absence from a legislature party meeting can't be a ground for disqualification from the state assembly, said Poonia raising a question over notices sent to rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot and his supporter MLAs in this regard.

Rajasthan Speaker C P Joshi has issued notices to Sachin Pilot and other rebel Congress MLAs after the party sought their disqualification from the state assembly.

Sacked deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and the other MLAs were asked to respond to the notices by Friday, sources said.

The notices were issued on Tuesday.

Congress sources said Pilot and 18 other MLAs had defied a whip and did not attend its legislature party meetings.

Reacting to the development, Poonia said, "Absence of MLAs in the legislature party meeting is not a reason for their disqualification. It shows ill-intentions of the assembly speaker. We are examining the legal aspect of the action."

Poonia said the BJP will try to ensure that the constitutional limits are not violated.

Kataria also said the speaker can only take action if there is a violation of the party whip in the assembly.

He said it was neither proper nor legal for the speaker to issue notices to the Congress MLAs and he has acted outside his jurisdiction.

(With PTI Inputs)


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