Jaipur, July 12: Signalling the "minority status" of Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan, only 75 of the Congress' 107 MLAs turned for a meeting called at his residence at 9 pm on Sunday. The key meet was aimed at strategising the future course of action to prevent the government from being toppled over by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Out of the 32 party legislators who skipped the meeting, 30 are said to have sided with Sachin Pilot - the Deputy Chief Minister and MLA from Tonk constituency. Pilot, 42, is at the centre of the political storm that has hit the state of Rajasthan. Rajasthan Govt Crisis: Sachin Pilot Not to Attend Congress Legislative Party Meeting Tomorrow, Reports Say 30 MLAs to Follow Him if He Quits.
"Around 75 MLAs/ministers were present in the meeting today at Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot's residence. Currently Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala and Ajay Maken are meeting with Gehlot to chalk out a strategy for tomorrow's meeting of Congress Legislative Party (CLP)," a source linked to news agency ANI was reported as saying.
According to reports, action is likely to be taken against the MLA of Pilot camp who refrained from attending the meeting called by Gehlot. A show-cause notice could be dispatched by them if they fail to attend the Legislative Party meeting scheduled at 10:30 am tomorrow in Jaipur.
"It is likely that after the CLP meeting, a whip will be issued by the party and absentees will have to face the consequences but nothing has been finalised yet. Final decision will be taken after this meeting of Ajay Maken, Randeep Surjewala, Avinash Pande and Gehlot," the sources were reported as saying.
Update by ANI
It is likely that after the CLP meeting, a whip will be issued by the party and absentees will have to face the consequences but nothing has been finalized yet. Final decision will be taken after this meeting of Ajay Maken, Randeep Surjewala, Avinash Pande & Gehlot: Sources https://t.co/rkvhovqGU0
— ANI (@ANI) July 12, 2020
Pilot, through his confidantes, informed the Congress leadership earlier today that he would not be attending the meeting called by Gehlot tomorrow. The Deputy CM has reportedly informed the party high command of his decision to quit the government along with the MLAs in his support.
If Gehlot walks out of the government with his loyalists, the Gehlot government would have to face a vote of no-confidence. It is unlikely to prove its majority in the 200-member assembly if the defections come into effect.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 12, 2020 11:16 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).