The crisis in the Congress government in Rajasthan appeared to be headed to a climax on Tuesday as party legislators demanded strict disciplinary action against Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and MLAs supporting him. After the meeting, the Congress announced that Pilot and two ministers have been removed. Pilot has been removed as deputy chief minister and Rajasthan Congress chief.
Govind Singh Dostara has been named new Rajasthan Congress chief. The ministers removed are Vishwendra Singh and Ramesh Meena.
Ironically, one of the reasons that apparently sparked the revolt by Pilot was a purported move by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to replace him as chief of the state Congress.
This was the second meeting of the Congress Legislature Party in two days and was organised after Pilot failed to turn up for the first one. Pilot did not attend the CLP meeting on Tuesday. Skipping the meeting meant Pilot has taken matters to a point of no return and made the possibility of action against him imminent.
“102 MLAs present at the ongoing Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting at Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur have unanimously demanded that Sachin Pilot should be removed from the party,” news agency ANI reported.
Ahead of the meeting on Tuesday, Congress general secretary Avinash Pande had issued another appeal to Pilot. Eighteen other Congress MLAs also did not attend Monday’s meeting, according to sources. But independent MLAs and legislators from other parties participated, expressing support for Gehlot.
Tuesday’s meeting was said to be a “second chance” for Pilot. Pilot’s camp circulated a video of MLAs loyal to him at a resort, apparently in Manesar, on Monday night.