JAIPUR: The shockwaves of MP Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia quitting the party along with many MLAs is being felt in Rajasthan as well.
A close friend of Scindia, Deputy CM Sachin Pilot is now the centre of attention in the state, with speculation that he might take the same route.
CM Ashok Gehlot was strong in his denunciation of Scindia’s move on Twitter: "Joining hands with the BJP in a time of national crisis speaks volumes about a leader’s self-indulgent political ambitions. Especially when the BJP is ruining the economy, democratic institutions and the social fabric.”
Gehlot is seen as a veteran in political calculations and his government has better numbers than the MP government.
With the 6 BSP MLAs joining the Congress a few months ago, the party has 106 MLAs of its own and the support of 13 others in a house of 200 seats. But he has been in a continuous tussle with party president Pilot, who was sidelined in the race for the CM’s post following the party’s Assembly win.
Gehlot loyalists argue that the situation in Rajasthan is very different from that in MP. But as the Scindia revolt gains momentum, there is uncertainty as sources say the BJP is keen to dislodge Gehlot.
A close aide of Gehlot asserted, “Some Congress dissidents might try to take advantage of the developments in MP. But Gehlot is likely to repulse this challenge. If he was chosen despite Pilot’s open
opposition, it was because he is a very astute politician and has the support of many MLAs."
Pilot’s supporters, however, say it would be a blunder to underestimate him and claim he has 25-35 MLAs loyal to him. If he is ignored anymore, he too may be pushed towards the BJP, they added.