Rajasthan Party Pulls Support From Congress, But MLAs May Serve A Twist

Sachin Pilot has claimed he has the support of 30 MLAs -- which if correct will reduce the government to minority in case of a split.

Rajasthan Party Pulls Support From Congress, But MLAs May Serve A Twist

The party stands on the brink of a split, with Ashok Gehlot's deputy, Sachin Pilot, openly rebelling

New Delhi:

A regional party with two MLAs has withdrawn support from the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan, which is trying to weather its worst crisis since 2018, sources said. The ruling Congress stands on the brink of a split in the state, with Mr Gehlot's deputy, Sachin Pilot, openly rebelling.

Mahesh Bhai Vasava, the chief of the Bharatiya Tribal Party, has written to his MLAs saying his party will remain neutral in case of a floor test in the assembly. The MLAs have been asked to skip any floor test altogether.

The two legislators of the party said they are with Ashok Gehlot for now. "There is some confusion. Right now we are with the government. But we will take a final decision after talking to our leaders," they told NDTV.

During the recent Rajya Sabha election, both legislators have voted for Congress candidates.

Mr Pilot yesterday claimed he has the support of 30 MLAs and said Mr Gehlot's government is now a minority. The Congress initially said he has the support of around 16 MLAs. This evening, they revised the figure to 10 or 12.  

After a meeting this morning, the Congress has also claimed that it has 107 MLAs -- a comfortable majority in the 200-member state assembly.

In March, the Congress lost power in Madhya Pradesh after Jyotiraditya Scindia, with 22 MLAs switched to the BJP. But amid speculation that he might do a Scindia, Mr Pilot has denied the possibility of a switch to the BJP.

The BJP, too, has denied that any discussion is in progress, though its senior leaders are keenly watching the situation. The party, which has 73 MLAs, needs the support of at least 28 more legislators to come to power in the state.

Over the last year, the BJP formed governments in states like Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh following large-scale defections. The Congress has accused it of attempting a re-run in Rajasthan. The BJP has denied the allegations, saying the developments in Rajasthan were an internal matter of the Congress.