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New headache for Rajasthan Congress: Six MLAs who supported Ashok Gehlot in ‘crisis’

Ashok Gehlot has already begun holding discussions with party leaders for a possible cabinet expansion.

Two MLAs from Pilot's camp questioned the timing of the outburst and accused the former BSP MLAs of supporting the Congress in greed of power.

Six MLAs of the BSP who defected and merged with the Congress party in Rajasthan two years ago have now gone public alleging injustice amid the ongoing turmoil in the party. The former BSP MLAs said that although they stood by the Gehlot government providing stability in times of crises, they have been meted out with ‘injustice’ in the party. The MLAs also targeted the legislators in the Sachin Pilot camp, saying they were building pressure to get ministerial berths despite once going against the party.

The Pilot camp also did not hold back. Two MLAs from Pilot’s camp questioned the timing of the outburst and accused the former BSP MLAs of supporting the Congress in greed of power. The dissidence expressed by the six MLAs is proving to be a new headache for Ashok Gehlot who is already struggling to keep his flock together as Sachin Pilot continues to camp in Delhi, demanding a resolution of the grievances raised by him a year ago, when he along with 18 MLAs openly boycotted against the state government.

Ashok Gehlot has already begun holding discussions with party leaders for a possible cabinet expansion. According to reports, Gehlot may probably reward the six MLAs who are often counted among the loyal to the Chief Minister. The Gehlot faction may signal to the party high command that it may accommodate Pilot loyalists as well as these MLAs in case of expansion.

Sandeep Yadav, former BSP MLA from Tijara who switched to Congress, said, “The 19 people are creating pressure on the party high command. They are pressuring it to include them as ministers. Those who worked towards destabilising this government, they are repeatedly creating pressure,” he said, hitting out at the Pilot camp. He said that the Gehlot government is surviving because of us and the high command should reward those who provided stability to the government.

Nadbai MLA Joginder Singh Awana said that six of us made a ‘huge sacrifice’ by joining the Congress. “Even today, a sword is hanging over us as the matter is pending in the Supreme Court. After this huge sacrifice, we provided stability to the Congress government and the Congress party,” he said.

Last year, Sachin Pilot, along with 18 loyal MLAs, had left the state and camped in Haryana and Delhi for over a month leading to a political crisis in Rajasthan. Ashok Gehlot managed to retain majority with the support of independent MLAs along with the six former BSP legislators.

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