Vasundhara: Not happy to have Pilot.

Vasundhara: Not happy to have Pilot.

BJP baffled by Raje’s silence over Congress revolt; Pilot caught in a spot

33 per cent of a survey expect Pilot to convince Congress MLAs to join BJP

Agency Report | New Delhi | 16 July, 2020 | 09:50 PM

Amid the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, after rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot was removed from the posts of the Deputy Chief Minister and the state party president following a tussle for power with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, the state BJP is in a fix over Pilot's next move. Though Union Minister Gajendra Shekhawat, senior BJP leader Om Mathur and Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Punia have offered Pilot to join BJP, yet the former state Chief Minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raj has not uttered a word on the ongoing political drama in the state.

According to sources, after he was removed from the post of Deputy Chief Minister and State Congress President in Rajasthan, the main opposition BJP in the state has its eyes fixed on Sachin Pilot and the party is awaiting his decision.

Sources said that the BJP wants to induct Pilot in the party to strengthen its position in the state. But it is not possible for the high command to do so at the moment over the indifference of Raje.

According to sources, the BJP central leadership is not at ease about some things on this issue. On the other hand, the party is also uncomfortable with the silence of Raje. There is no response from Raje on the ongoing deadlock in the state.

She did not reach the meeting held in the state office on Wednesday. This clearly indicates that Raje is not happy with the party’s stand on Pilot. Raje dominates Rajasthan BJP. In such a situation, the high command has to consider all aspects before Pilot is inducted into the party.

Senior party leader and spokesperson Vijay Sonkar Shastri says, “Any leader who believes in BJP’s policy and principles is welcome in the party. As far as the leader of the particular area is concerned, if he comes to the party, then the Centre will take a decision with the consent of the state leadership.”

He said that there has been such a tradition in the party that both the central and state leaderships have been welcoming the arrival of any leader in the party.

It is however obvious that before Pilot’s entry into the BJP the party has to take Vasundhara Raje into confidence. If Pilot joins the party there is bound to be a boost in the leadership.

Pilot was the Deputy CM in the Gehlot government, in such a situation it is difficult for him to even accept the post of Deputy CM in a BJP government. On the other hand, if the BJP selects Sachin Pilot as the CM candidate, then the party leaders will be angered.

In such a situation, the BJP high command is constantly monitoring the developments in the Congress. The BJP is currently in a state of ‘wait and watch’. The BJP wants to evaluate the profit and loss before deciding on further action.

Significantly, Sachin Pilot, along with his 22 supporting MLAs, has been staying in a hotel in Manesar, Haryana, a BJP-ruled state, for the last six days. These include 19 Congress MLAs including Pilot and three Independent leaders.

While there is much speculation on Sachin Pilot’s next move after being, almost one-third of the respondents in the IANS-CVoter Snap Poll expect that he will try to convince his MLAs to join the BJP.

The poll, on Thursday with a sample size of 1,200, found that 32.7 per cent respondents said that Pilot will try to convince his loyal MLAs to join the BJP.

After being sacked from important posts, Pilot and other rebel MLAs have been slapped with a show-cause notice by the Assembly Speaker.

“What according to you will be Sachin Pilot’s next strategy?” was the question posed in the snap poll.

Over a fourth (26.3 per cent) respondents said Pilot will break away from the Congress and float a new party with his MLAs, while just under a fourth (24 per cent) said Pilot will stay in the Congress, try to gain the support of more MLAs and will rebel again at the right time.

The lowest probability outcome, as per the snap poll, is for Pilot to work under Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, with only 17.1 per cent holding that Pliot will remain in the party and work under Gehlot.

In the latest developments on the crisis in Rajasthan, Pilot and his 18 loyal MLAs on Thursday moved the Rajasthan High Court against Speaker C.P. Joshi’s disqualification notice, alleging that the Speaker “was acting under Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s influence”.

The court deferred the plea in the matter as Pilot camp appealed to amend the plea.

The petition was filed by P.R. Meena, an MLA from Pilot group on behalf of other MLAs who were slapped notice for not attending two Congress Legislature Party meetings called recently.

Pilot moved the court ahead of Friday deadline which the Speaker had given to him and other rebel MLAs to respond. (IANS)