Prime Minister Narendra Modi must put an end to the BJP’s alleged attempts to topple the Congress-led Rajasthan government, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Saturday in Jaisalmer, where he has flocked his nearly 100 loyal MLAs in a resort to avert possible inducements from the rival camp. He also said that he would welcome back the rebel camp – led by his former deputy Sachin Pilot – if the party high command forgives them.
“Modiji is the Prime Minister of the country. People of the country gave him the chance (to lead the country) two times. He made people clap, clang utensils…people trusted him – it is a big thing. He must put an end to the tamasha (drama) in Rajasthan. They have increased the rate of horse-trading before the assembly session. What is this drama?”
Mr Gehlot is keen to prove his majority by way of a trust vote in the Rajasthan Assembly following an open revolt by Mr Pilot, who had been upset over being sent a notice to join a probe linked to the alleged conspiracy to topple the government.
WATCH: …Prime Minister should stop the ‘tamasha’ going on in Rajasthan. The rate for horse-trading has increased here. What ‘tamasha’ is this?: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in Jaisalmer pic.twitter.com/W9s9THllBJ
— ANI (@ANI) August 1, 2020
Team Pilot had they have the support of 30 MLAs- enough to endanger Mr Gehlot’s government. But sources say at least 18 MLAs, who have been camping in BJP-ruled Haryana, are backing him.
After days of demanding and protesting for an urgent session, Mr Gehlot agreed to Governor Kalraj Mishra’s condition of a 21-day notice — the house will be convened on August 14.
Mr Gehlot said he was confident of his majority and could prove it anytime, be it after “21 days or 31 days”. However, he moved the MLAs to the border town from Jaipur, where they had been living in a resort for weeks.
Mr Gehlot, who has alleged BJP’s role in Sachin Pilot’s rebellion, last week alleged that the rate of “horse-trading” went up. “Earlier, the first instalment was of Rs 10 crore and second was of Rs 15 crore. Now it has become unlimited and all know who is doing horse-trading,” he had said.
The BJP on Friday took a swipe at Mr Gehlot.
“Ahead of Jaisalmer is Pakistan. And on its other side is Gujarat (a BJP-ruled state). So where do you want to go? The CM should let his MLAs free,” remarked Satish Poonia, the BJP chief in Rajasthan.
Mr Gehlot has a narrow lead – one over the majority mark of 101 in the 200-member assembly.
A court case on six former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs who merged into the Congress, however, may impact Mr Gehlot’s tally. The Rajasthan High Court last week served notices to them on petitions by the BSP and BJP challenging the merger.