With yoga, a film screening and culinary classes, Rajasthan Congress MLAs are spending the weekend at a luxury hotel in Jaipur to unwind ahead of a likely storm on Tuesday, when a crucial court hearing will decide whether rebel leader Sachin Pilot and 18 Congress MLAs can be disqualified by the Speaker.
In visuals, the MLAs in casual tees and pants are seen doing yoga on the spacious green lawns of Fairmont in Jaipur. None of them are wearing mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are seen sitting close to each other.
Some MLAs who wanted to try out new recipes are seen crowding around the executive chef of the five-star hotel as he guided them along a line of dishes. The MLAs said they learnt to make pizza, pasta and butter paneer.
The 1960 epic hit "Mughal-e-Azam" was screened for the MLAs on Friday evening.
The weekend marks a slowdown from the hectic manoeuvres that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had been taking to avoid a government collapse after Sachin Pilot decided to revolt against the party, with the backing of a handful of MLAs loyal to him.
The Rajasthan High Court on Friday gave time to the rebel MLAs till Tuesday to respond to disqualification notices for "anti-party activities", which they have challenged in court.
The 18 Congress rebels said to be loyal to Sachin Pilot are staying in two resorts in Manesar near Delhi.
The Congress has suspended two of the rebels, alleging that they had been caught on tape conspiring with the BJP against their own government.
A Rajasthan Police team landed at the two resorts in Manesar on Friday, intending to arrest Bhanwar Lal Sharma who, the Congress alleges, is one of the two MLAs heard discussing bribes from the BJP as part of a conspiracy against the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan.
The BJP accused the Congress of resorting to defamation and illegal phone-tapping in desperation. "Did the government tap phones? You cannot tap phones without proper permission. Court doesn't accept such tapes. This is like Watergate scandal," said BJP's Rajasthan chief Satish Poonia.
For Team Pilot, winning the court battle is important. If the rebel MLAs are disqualified, the majority mark will drop, making it easier for Ashok Gehlot to win a floor test. If the rebels can vote in the assembly, the Congress government could fall.
Mr Gehlot needs 101 MLAs to vote for him in the 200-member assembly and claims he has the support of 106.