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Sachin Pilot Camp Denies Desertion From Ranks, Claims 10-15 More MLAs Will Extend Support

Congress MLA Hemaram Choudhary rejected party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala's claim that three MLAs of the Sachin Pilot camp would return to Jaipur.

Written By
Akhil Oka
Rajasthan

On Monday, Congress MLA Hemaram Choudhary rejected party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala's claim that three MLAs of the Sachin Pilot camp would return to CM Ashok Gehlot's faction. Choudhary- one of the 19 Pilot camp legislators asserted that none of them shall switch over to the other side. According to him, Surjewala was giving such statements to assuage the dejected MLAs holed up in Fairmont Hotel. 

In a big revelation, Choudhary added that 10-15 of the Gehlot camp MLAs were in touch with them and could join forces on being "set free" from the hotel. He recalled apprising Surjewala of the factionalism in the Congress party before the Rajya Sabha polls. The Congress MLA maintained that he had demanded a change of leadership in the state to placate the unhappy MLAs. 

Pilot camp MLA Hemaram Choudhary remarked, "Today, we heard in the media that Randeep Surjewala said that three MLAs belonging to the Sachin Pilot camp would return to the Gehlot camp in 48 hours. I want to tell Randeep Surjewala that all the 19 MLAs in the Pilot camp are united. Not even a single MLA will go to the other side. Surjewala is giving such a statement to pacify the dejected MLAs of the Gehlot camp. 10-15 MLAs of the Gehlot camp are in contact with us and are saying that they will come to our side once they are set free. This will be clear if Gehlot sets the MLAs free today. He will discover how many MLAs are with him. Even when Randeep Surjewala had come to Rajasthan at the time of Rajya Sabha polls, I had told him that the legislators are unhappy with the present leadership in the state. I had told him that the MLAs will be satisfied only if there is a change in leadership."

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Read: Congress Legal Eagles Write To Rajasthan Governor; Tell Him He Must Convene The Assembly

The rift in Rajasthan Congress

Pilot’s departure to Delhi with some of his supporting legislators on July 11 set off alarm bells in the Congress camp. The rift between CM Ashok Gehlot and him widened after the legislators belonging to his camp skipped two Legislative Party meetings. Despite Pilot's insistence that he will not join BJP, the Congress party sacked him as the Deputy CM and the PCC chief. On July 24, a division bench of the Rajasthan HC comprising Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta ordered a "status quo" on the Assembly Speaker's notices issued to sacked Deputy CM Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs. This implies that the Speaker cannot take any coercive action against the Pilot camp until the HC concludes hearing the matter. 

Read: Amid Tussle Between Gehlot-Pilot Camps, Rajasthan Governor Sends Report To Centre: Sources

Read: Rajasthan Govt Crisis LIVE Updates: Guv Suggests Convening Assembly After 21-day Notice

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