Sachin Pilot & 15 Rebel MLAs Meet Sonia Gandhi; Ex-Dy CM May Get National Role: Sources
Hours after Congress appointed a 3-member panel to probe into Sachin Pilot's demands, the ex-Deputy CM of Rajasthan along with 15 rebel MLAs have met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence, as per sources. Pilot may be given a national level role - mostly Gehlot's General secretary post, claim sources. Priyanka Gandhi, KC Venugopal, Ahmed Patel are also reportedly present for the meeting.
Pilot loyalist joins Gehlot camp
Earlier in the day, MLA Bhanwar Lal who had sided with Pilot during the rebellion, met CM Ashok Gehlot at CM residence in Jaipur, pledging his support. Lal is one of two Pilot camp MLAs who was named in the FIR for alleged horse-trading with BJP. Sources have reported that all MLAs of Sachin Pilot camp are leaving from Delhi.
Previously, Pilot met with Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi at Rahul Gandhi's Delhi residence to discuss 'negotiation terms'. After that meeting, the Gandhi siblings also met with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to discuss Pilot's demands and the situation in Rajasthan. After the meeting, Congress issued a statement announcing Pilot's return and that a panel would be constituted to address his grievances.
Rajasthan political & legal crisis
Pilot & his MLAs rebelled when Rajasthan's Special Operations Group (SOG) issued notice to Pilot in connection with the alleged involvement of BJP leaders for toppling the state government with BJP members. In response, Pilot and 18 MLAs arrived in Delhi, reducing the Congress' numbers from 107 to 88. Though Gehlot has submitted a letter of 102 MLAs, Congress also sacked Pilot as Deputy CM, PCC chief and cabinet posts. Rajasthan Assembly is set to reconvene on August 14.
Pilot and his 18 MLAs have challenged the disqualification notices issued by Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi in the Rajasthan High Court. The court has ordered to maintain status-quo staying any action against the 19 rebel MLAs till the next hearing. Meanwhile, Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi and Speaker CP Joshi have again moved the Supreme Court challenging the Rajasthan High Court's 'status quo' order. Moreover, BSP and BJP have moved the High Court and the Supreme Court challenging six BSP MLAs' merger with Congress, seek their disqualification.