A three-member committee of the All India Congress Committee will look into the grievances of former Rajasthan deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs. Sachin Pilot met Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on Monday and assured the two leaders that he was committed to working in the interest of the party. Pilot along with the 18 dissident Congress MLAs and three independents will return to Jaipur and will attend party meetings ahead of the Rajasthan Assembly session which is scheduled to begin from August 14.
In Delhi, AICC general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal confirmed about the meeting, adding “Sachin Pilot has met with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and expressed his grievances in detail. They have had a frank, open and conclusive discussion. Congress President Sonia Gandhi has decided that the AICC will constitute a three-member committee to address the issues raised by Sachin Pilot and the aggrieved MLAs and arrive at an appropriate resolution thereof”.
Following this meeting of Pilot with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, the Gehlot government has overcome any risk to the government as the Congress now has enough numbers to face the floor trust vote and come out victorious.
All the Congress MLAs who are staying in a Jaisalmer hotel will return to the state capital. A meeting of the Congress legislature party is likely to be held in Jaipur on Tuesday where all the 19 dissidents will join the meeting. This would bring the curtains down on the 32-day deadlock during which Ashok Gehlot dismissed the deputy Chief Minister and two Cabinet ministers Ramesh Meena and Vishvendra Singh. Pilot was also removed as Pradesh Congress President, being replaced by Govind Singh Dotasara, a minister of state in Gehlot Cabinet.
The party had suspended Vishvendra Singh and a senior MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma for their alleged involvement in horse-trading. The Special Operation Group of Rajasthan Police had found an audio clip in which the two were speaking to intermediaries.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been insisting that the dissidents were welcome to the party fold if they offer their apology. The government showed its gesture by doing away with sedition charges against Pilot and minister Vishvendra Singh and MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma. This also helped in the reconciliatory move and paved the way for the return of the dissidents. Bhanwar Lal Sharma, who arrived here from Delhi also met the Chief Minister Gehlot.
On Sunday, CM Gehlot had asked party legislators to show their unity on the floor of the House. Addressing a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting at a resort in Jaisalmer, he said, “We are all democracy warriors. We are going to win this war and also win the (Assembly) election after three-and-a-half years. The unity which you have shown till now, the same unity you have to show in the House”.
The Congress had a total of 107 MLAs in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly. This includes 6 MLAs who were previously with the BSP.