Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will seek a confidence vote when the Legislative Assembly meets on August 14.
Rebel Congress MLA Gajendra Singh Shaktawat has said that the Sachin Pilot camp legislators will attend the Assembly session if the party issues a whip. Shaktawat is an MLA from Vallabhnagar in Udaipur. He is one of the 18 MLAs in the Pilot camp.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Shaktawat said that the Sachin Pilot camp MLAs are with the Congress party as he underlined that “they never spoke about leaving the grand old party”.
“We are with Sachin Pilot and will abide by whatever decision he takes. We have never spoken about leaving the Congress party. If the Congress issues a whip, I will definitely attend the Assembly session. We will raise our voice from within by being inside the party,” the MLA said. He added that a whip is only effective inside the House and cannot be issued for other meetings.
Speaking about the demand of the Sachin Pilot camp MLAs, Shaktawat said, “All we wanted was a change in leadership.”
He also took strong exceptions to the remarks of CM Ashok Gehlot wherein he had publicly called Sachin Pilot “nikamma, nakara” and termed it as a battle of self-respect.
“A person who worked hard for six years to form the government in Rajasthan, you abuse him by calling him nikamma… This is a battle of self-respect. You are abusing your own family members. We have never spoken with anybody from the BJP. We don’t want to leave the Congress,” he said.
Another Sachin Pilot loyalist and MLA from Ladnun, Mukesh Bhakar, said he believes in the Congress ideology and won’t leave the party.
The 19 rebels including Pilot are camping at a resort on the Jaipur-Gurugram highway for the last two weeks.
The rebels had twice skipped the Congress Legislature Party meeting following which the party had sought action against them. The Congress had filed a formal complaint against them with Speaker CP Joshi. The Speaker initiated the process of disqualification for violating the whip by not attending the CLP meetings. The rebel, however, moved the High Court against the disqualification notices served to them by the Speaker. The HC last week ordered a status quo on the disqualification proceedings.
According to reports, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will seek a confidence vote when the Legislative Assembly meets on August 14.
The Congress has 107 MLAs including 19 rebels in the 200-member House. The BJP has 72 members.