In a massive development, sources report that CM Ashok Gehlot may ask all ministers to resign from their portfolios at the all-MLA meeting convened at his Jaipur residence. This move hinting at a cabinet reshuffle or expansion comes after 30 Congress MLAs along with several independent MLAs have reportedly extended their support to Deputy CM Sachin Pilot. With this development, Pilot's camp has increased with 30 MLAs, which reduces Congress's majority from 107 to 77, cutting close to BJP's 72 MLAs.
Sources add that 10 ministers have reached CM Gehlot's residence to attend the meeting. While Pilot 22 supporting MLAs are not attending the meeting, senior Congress leaders - Randeep Surjewala, Ajay Maken are scheduled to attend the meeting. Pilot has also refused to attend the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting on Monday, though Congress claims that there is no rift in the party.
Rajasthan's Special Operations Group (SOG) has issued notices to CM Ashok Gehlot, Deputy CM Pilot, multiple MLAs in connection with the alleged involvement of BJP leaders for toppling the state government. In the FIR registered on July 10, two BJP members were arrested for trying to lure Congress MLAs after their conversations were intercepted hinting that Pilot was reportedly in touch with the BJP camp to become the CM. Gehlot has summoned all Congress MLAs to Jaipur on Sunday night, while Pilot is Delhi along with 22 MLAs camped at Gurugram's ITC Hotel.
Pilot, who arrived in Delhi on Saturday, has already met with senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and listed a set of grievances. He has also met with former Congress colleague - Jyotiraditya Scindia, who claimed it was sad to see Pilot being sidelined and persecuted by Rajasthan CM, after the meeting. While both Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have been briefed about the current situation, Pilot seeks to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to apprise her of the step-motherly treatment being meted out to his faction.
Gehlot claimed that Congress MLAs and Independent legislators were being offered up to Rs.25 lakh each to switch sides on the lines of the recent pattern in Madhya Pradesh. However, BJP refuted this allegation, highlighting that there was infighting among the Congress ranks. Currently, Congress which enjoys the support of 12 Independent MLAs, holds a 48-seat majority over Opposition's 76.