On Friday, rebel Congress MLAs dismissed the outlandish claims made by Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot in which he accused the BJP of holding the rebel members hostage. While speaking to ANI, Neem Ka Thana MLA Suresh Modi clarified that he had come to Delhi on his own accord over disagreements with the incumbent Congress dispensation in Rajasthan. He reiterated that the rebel Congress MLAs are under no pressure from the BJP. Modi is a Congress MLA belonging to the camp of Sachin Pilot.
Referring to the failure of Ashok Gehlot in fulfilling his promises, Modi stated, “He has not done anything in my constituency for the past 1.5 years… The people of my constituency are struggling due to the shortage of water… I had demanded that my constituency be transformed into a district. However, none of my demands were met. And now he (Gehlot) is making baseless allegations against us. This is wrong. These unfounded claims made by him are a disgrace to the post of the Chief Minister. Retain your seat but at least do it in the right way.”
#WATCH: “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 didn’t listen to any of our demands related to work in our constituencies,” says MLA Suresh Modi from Sachin Pilot camp pic.twitter.com/Y1ZU2elw5U— ANI (@ANI) July 24, 2020
Ashok Gehlot must leave CM seat for Congress’ unity, says rebel leader
Another rebel MLA Murari Lal Meena claimed that he was disheartened by the bizarre claims made by a three-time chief Minister aka Ashok Gehlot. “We have neither left the Congress party nor have joined hands with the BJP”, he emphasised. Meena reiterated that the rebel MLAs had come to Delhi to communicate with the party high command about the inefficiency of the current political dispensation in Rajasthan.
“He said that we are being detained by the BJP. However, we have not communicated with BJP leaders until now. Sadly, our family members are scared after he chose to intimidate us with SOG. This is the treatment meted out to fellow members of the Congress fraternity. He needs to mend his ways else the Congress party will suffer,” the Dausa MLA was quoted as saying.
Meena further emphasised that Ashok Gehlot must step down from his Chief Ministerial position in the larger interest of the Congress party. He said, “If he feels that he has been loyal and dedicated to the party for a long time and has been a CM for 3 terms, then, he must resign for the sake of party’s unity. Why is he still stuck to the seat?”
#WATCH: MLA Murari Lal Meena, who supports Sachin Pilot, says, “We are staying in Delhi. CM Ashok Gehlot said we are held hostage by BJP, it’s untrue as we were never in touch with them. On the contrary, our families are scared due to use of SOG by CM.” #RajasthanPoliticalCrisis pic.twitter.com/r3EqnKMYJp— ANI (@ANI) July 24, 2020
Political crisis in Rajasthan
The divide with Rajasthan government became public after former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot moved to Delhi with a group of MLAs, claiming that the Gehlot government has lost majority. As the speculations of government collapse grew louder, Gehlot had over his loyal MLAs to the Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur. On July 14, the Congress party sacked the rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot from the post of Deputy Chief Minister of the state for allegedly conspiring to topple the government, in collusion with the BJP.
The rebel leader has recently moved the Rajasthan High Court challenging the disqualification notices issued to them by the state Assembly speaker on the behest of the State CM. Earlier, Ashok Gehlot had also mocked Pilot for being “nikamma and nakaara’ (useless) and revealed that the duo had not been on talking terms for 1.5 years.