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Congress walks a tightrope in Rajasthan

New Delhi: With the political crisis finally resolved in Rajasthan and the Congress constituting a three-member committee to deal with the issues in the state unit, the party has acted by replacing the general secretary in-charge of the state. However, challenges still lie ahead with MLAs from the Sachin Pilot camp now demanding a bigger role in the government.

The party has assigned Ahmed Patel, K.C. Venugopal and Ajay Maken to look into the affairs of the state unit. The committee will be meeting all the stakeholders soon to deliberate on the issues and sources said that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is set to meet party interim chief Sonia Gandhi.

“We would not like to comment on the issue and BJP has made a mockery of the democratic process and has got a befitting reply” said Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, when asked for a response.

The ministers in the Pilot camp who rebelled were sacked by the Chief Minister including then Deputy Chief Minister Pilot himself, but later after the recent truce, the party had to find a way to accommodate Pilot’s loyalists, said sources.

Sonia Gandhi replaced state party in-charge Avinash Pande with Maken but the party tried to play it down.

“Organizational change happens in the party and Avinash Pande has done a good job in Rajasthan affairs,” said party spokesperson Supriya Shrinate.

The Rajasthan government has vacancies so MLAs from both camps are expecting a place in the Cabinet.

Prior to the rebellion, Pilot, Ramesh Meena and Vishvendra Singh were ministers but in the new situation, the Pilot camp is expecting a bigger share in the Gehlot government and plum portfolios. Former Deputy Chief Minister Pilot is expected to meet the committee members and explain his side of the story.

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BJP trying MP story in Rajasthan, claims CM

Jaipur: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has accused BJP of indulging in horse trading in Rajasthan to destabilize the government here and said that BJP wants to repeat the Madhya Pradesh story in Rajasthan too.

“One of our MLAs was offered Rs 25 crore, 10 crore in advance and 15 crore later as horse trading, but he informed us on time. We have been tipped that a huge cash amount has been transferred from Delhi to Jaipur recently which has been informed to us by investigative agencies,” Rajasthan CM said after coming out of Shiv-Vilas Resort where 90 MLAs, both Congress and independents, were camping since evening.

Initially, these 90 MLAs were shifted to this resort situated at Delhi road fearing poaching, but late in the night these MLAs were asked to go back home.

In between, they had an elaborate meeting in presence of veteran leader Randeep Surjewala.

CM Gehlot said the party workers and independents shall meet on Thursday again as Congress candidate for Rajya Sabha, KC Venugopal shall also be coming to Jaipur. Also Rajasthan Congress in-charge Avinash Pandey will also be present during the meeting.

CM further said that I am proud to be the chief minister of state where our MLAs can not be bought.

He further accused the Narendra Modi government and said that a concocted plan was made to postpone Rajya Sabha elections earlier.

“Modi government pressurized Election Commission to postpone the election as MLAs horse trading had not been done in Rajasthan and Gujarat by then.”

Corona infection was there earlier too and it is still there, he commented.

After giving this statement, Gehlot also left from Shiv-Vilas Resort.

Earlier, political activities were at its peak on Wednesday. In the evening, CM called all MLAs to CMR for a meeting, who were later shifted to the resort.

Meanwhile, the Congress whip Mahesh Joshi lodged an official complaint with Director General of police, ACB demanding a strict action against BJP workers for trying to lure away the Independent MLAs with money power.

Joshi, in his letter addressed to the DG ACB, said, “On the lines of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, there has been an information coming via our reliable sources about efforts being made by the BJP to destabilize the government in Rajasthan by luring Congress as well as Independent MLAs who are supporting our government.”

Meanwhile, BJP state president Satish Poonia told IANS, “This is just propaganda made by Congress workers. I openly challenge them to come out with proof confirming their allegation.”

It needs to be mentioned here that Rajya Sabha elections are being scheduled on June 19 for 24 seats out of which three seats are in Rajasthan and MP and four are in Gujarat amongst others.

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