Rajasthan crisis: Congress cracks the whip! Sachin Pilot sacked as Deputy CM, party president

The Congress’ decision came following a resolution at the CLP meeting to remove Sachin Pilot as Deputy CM and PCC president. Govind Singh Dotasra has been appointed as the party’s new state unit chief .

Sachin Pilot has been sacked from the posts of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister, state unit president, and dropped from the cabinet. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala announced the decision minutes after a total of 102 MLAs present at the Congress Legislature Party meeting unanimously passed a resolution to remove Sachin Pilot from all party posts. Gehlot called on Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra shortly after the CLP meeting and conveyed to him his proposal to remove Sachin Pilot as Deputy CM. The CM also proposed to remove Vishvender Singh and Ramesh Meena as ministers in the cabinet. The proposal has been aceepted by the Governor.

The Congress’ decision to act against the rebellion came amid an intense political battle playing out between Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Pilot, who has now been replaced by Govind Singh Dotasra as state unit chief, has been camping in Delhi with a bunch of MLAs who have joined the rebellion he began on Saturday evening. Efforts were made to placate him, Congress claimed, and said that several top leaders of the party had got in touch with him over the past few days.

Sachin Pilot, who is yet to reveal his next course of action, opened up on Twitter — the first time he reacted since the crisis began — and said that truth can be harrassed but not defeated.

Pilot’s next moves will be watched very closely as, despite all of Gehlot’s bravado, the numbers are just marginally on his side. While the CM has claimed the support of 109 MLAs in the 200-member Assembly, Pilot has rejected the claim saying no more than 84 MLAs are with him. While that assertion may not be entirely correct, a total of 102 MLAs were seen in attendance at the CLP meeting held in Jaipur earlier today where the resolution to remove Sachin Pilot was passed.

Pilot’s camp last evening released a video where 16 MLAs were seen sitting together at an undisclosed location. Prior to Pilot’s rebellion, the Congress had 107 MLAs of its own and enjoyed the support of 13 independents and five from smaller parties. Much has changed since then, observers point out. The number has now fallen to 90 Congress MLAs, seven independent members and five from smaller parties which takes the tally to 102, just one above the magic figure of 101.

The BJP, on the other hand, has 72 MLAs of its own and has the support of RLP which has 3 MLAs and one Independent legislator.

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