Members of the Sachin Pilot camp on Friday rebutted Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s accusations regarding the MLAs being held hostage by the BJP and said that they were camped in Delhi to hold talks with the Congress high command and narrate their woes.
MLAs — Suresh Modi, Murari Lal Meena, and Vedprakash Solanki, all stated that the accusations being levied on them by Gehlot were “out of line”.
“Gehlotji has been CM three times but his accusations have hurt us. Neither have we left Congress nor approached BJP, we were saddened by him sidelining us and our neglect during the one and a half year of his government. The MLAs came to Delhi to meet the high command of the party and narrate their woes,” Meena said.
“For a long time we have been accused of being held hostage by BJP, it’s untrue as we were never in touch with them. On the contrary, our families are scared due to the use of SOG by the CM,” he added.
Suresh Modi added that they had been dissatisfied with Gehlot’s style of functioning as a result of which work in their constituencies were “hampered” in the tenure.
“Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said we are held hostage by BJP, I want to clarify that it is not so. We are here at our own will as despite our efforts he did not listen to any of our demands related to work in our constituencies,” Modi said.
Solanki further reiterated that the MLAs still support Pilot and will continue to do so in the future.
“Some people sitting in Jaipur are alleging we are hostages. We all came of our own free will, especially I got my pass made from the Collector to come here and told everyone. We had told clearly that we are with Sachin Pilot, and remain to do so,” he said.
Earlier today, Congress MLAs supporting Gehlot had raised slogans at Jaipur’s Raj Bhawan after reports came to the fore that Governor Kalraj Mishra had denied convening the state Assembly session in the wake of COVID-19.
“If media reports are true about Governor saying that state Assembly session can’t be conducted due to COVID-19, then we are ready to conduct COVID-19 tests of 200 MLAs,” Raghu Sharma, Rajasthan Minister, and Congress leader said.
Gehlot had met the Governor on Friday afternoon over the issue of the convening of the Assembly session.
He, earlier, alleged that colleagues, apparently referring to Congress MLAs from the Sachin Pilot camp, have been held hostages in Haryana under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s supervision.
“Some of our colleagues have been kept as hostages in Haryana under BJP’s supervision. Everybody knows that. It may be possible they don’t want to be there. They are our colleagues,” Gehlot said at a press conference here.
Rajasthan plunged into a political crisis as differences between Pilot and Gehlot came out in the open.
Later, Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi sent disqualification notices to Pilot and 18 MLAs under the anti-defection law after the chief whip applied for their disqualification.
The MLAs were earlier asked to present themselves before the Assembly Speaker on July 17, but the same was deferred given the hearing before the High Court.
The Rajasthan High Court on Friday directed to maintain ‘status quo’ on the disqualification proceeding against former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other MLAs of his camp pending before the State Assembly Speaker.
“The court has given a status quo order on the July 14 order of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly Speaker. The court has observed that the petitioners’ prayer numbers 3 and 4, which seek to allow them to continue as MLAs, does not come under its jurisdiction,” advocate Prateek Kasliwal, lawyer of Assembly Speaker CP Joshi told reporters here.
He also said that the High Court has made the Central government a party in the case.