Sachin Pilot Speaks To P Chidambaram Over Rajasthan Political Crisis

 - Sakshi Post

In a surprise move, Congress rebel leader Sachin Pilot has spoken to former union minister P Chidambaram over phone on Thursday, July 16. Pilot has been removed as the deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan and also as the president of the PCC.

According to a report in a daily, the two spoke over the phone and Chidambaram was quoted saying by the daily as, "I just reiterated that the leadership had publicly invited him to meet with it, and all issues can be discussed. I advised him to seize the opportunity."

Another senior Congress leader have said that if Pilot decides to come back, he will have an "honourable return".

Even as Pilot has approached the Rajasthan High Court to challenge the disqualification proceedings initiated against him and 18 other MLAs, the party says that it can consider giving more time to rebel leaders, the report read citing sources.

Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident leaders on Thursday moved the high court, challenging notices from the Rajasthan Speaker over a Congress move to disqualify them from the state assembly.

The matter is scheduled to be heard before a division bench of the Rajasthan High Court at 1 pm Friday, which is also the “deadline” that the Speaker’s office gave the MLAs to file their replies to the notices.

Top lawyers represent the two sides.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is also a Congress leader, represent the Speaker's office. Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, who have represented the BJP-led government at the Centre in the past, are the lawyers for the Pilot's camp.

The 19 MLAs were sent notices by the assembly secretariat on Tuesday and allowed up to Friday to give their replies. The notices said Speaker C P Joshi will take up the matter at 1 pm on Friday.

Sachin Pilot has been upset since the Congress picked Ashok Gehlot for the chief minister’s post after the 2018 assembly polls. His supporters said he deserved credit for the party’s victory election after a campaign helmed by him as its state unit chief.

If the Congress dissidents are disqualified, the current strength of the state assembly will reduce to 181, slashing the half-way mark to 91 and seemingly making it easier for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to retain majority support.

In the 200-member assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the BJP 72.

In the past, the ruling party has claimed the support of 13 independents, two MLAs each from the CPM and the Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP), and one from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).

(Inputs from India Express)

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