Hinting at a breakthrough between Congress and miffed former Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot, CM Ashok Gehlot said that he would be willing to forgive Pilot and the 18 rebel MLAs if the party's high command decides to the same, while talking to reporters in Jaisalmer. Affirming that he has been a 3-time CM and a former Union Minister, he said that he served for the public. He also commented that Rajasthan BJP leaders were attempting to compete with ex-CM Vasundhara Raje.
Talking about Pilot and rebel MLAs return to Congress, CM Ashok Gehlot said, "Depends on the high command. If the high command forgives the rebel MLAs & Sachin Pilot, then I am also ready to welcome them. I am serving Rajasthan and I have been Chief Minister thrice. I have been a Union Minister, I am doing only what I am doing for service. I accept whatever the high command decides."
Lashing out at Rajasthan BJP leaders, he added," Leaders like Satish Poonia have become newcomers. They want to compete with Vasundhara but will not be able to take it. There is no point in it as Vasundhara herself has disappeared".
Ahead of Assembly session on August 14, Gehlot has moved MLAs supporting him to Hotel Suryagarh in Jaisalmer, alleging horse-trading attempts by BJP. Stressing that the Congress MLAs were being harassed mentally in Jaipur, he expressed hope that the pressure will be less in Jaisalmer. Meanwhile, his SOG will move the High Court to take the voice sample of Sanjay Jain - who is one of the three accused arrested in connection to the 'leaked tapes' of MLAs discussing a plot to topple the state government. On Friday, Jain was produced before a local court where he refused to give his voice sample.
Pilot and his 18 MLAs have challenged the disqualification notices issued by Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi in the Rajasthan High Court. The court has ordered to maintain status-quo staying any action against the 19 rebel MLAs till the next hearing. Meanwhile, Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi and Speaker CP Joshi have again moved the Supreme Court challenging the Rajasthan High Court's 'status quo' order regarding the disqualification notices issued to former Deputy CM Sachin pilot and 18 MLAs. The Congress which is split into two factions stands as such - Gehlot (104), Pilot (19) while BJP has 72 MLAs, with the support of RLP (3) and one Independent MLA in the house of 200 members.