Jaipur, Jul 14, 2020: Sachin Pilot was led "astray" by the BJP and his rebellion was part of a BJP conspiracy, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said today as the crisis in his government peaked and the BJP started talking of a trust vote. Mr Pilot and two other ministers were dropped from the Rajasthan government by the Congress, which however, continued to urge him to come to the table and talk.
At the end of a meeting this morning, Mr Gehlot justified the action taken against his former deputy.
With naming Mr Pilot, the Chief Minister said the high command was "compelled to take the decision because since a long time BJP was conspiring and resorting to horse-trading".
"We knew it was a big conspiracy. Now some of our friends went astray because of it and went to Delhi," he said in a broad hint at Mr Pilot and the MLAs supporting him, who spent the weekend in Delhi.
Mr Gehlot’s government now appears to stand at the brink of collapse as his numbers continued to shrink and slip below the majority mark in the 200-member assembly.
Five more MLAs three from his own party -- appears to have deserted Mr Gehlot since last evening. The Bharatiya Tribal Party which has two MLAs, said it will not support him in case of a trust vote.
Mr Pilot has claimed that he has the support of 30 MLAs. Sources close to him say he has the support of 20 MLAs.
"All the deals have been decided between these rebel MLAs and the BJP. What they will do now, be it setting up a new party temporarily or join the BJP directly, will be known soon," Mr Gehlot told the media after his meeting with the Governor.
"There is nothing in Sachin Pilot’s hands, it is the BJP which is running the show," insisted Mr Pilot’s former boss. "The BJP has arranged that resort and they are managing everything. The same team which worked in Madhya Pradesh is at work here," he was quoted as saying news agency ANI.
In a Hindi tweet later, Mr Gehlot said: "The BJP’s intentions did not work out. The game they played on basis of money power in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, they wanted to do the same in Rajasthan. The game was played openly... and I understand that those people were defeated in the open game".