"Reworking Strategy," Says Rajasthan BJP On Cancelling Meet After Congress Truce

The meeting of BJP MLAs has now been pushed to Thursday, a day before the special session of the Rajasthan assembly.

BJP's Gulabchand Kataria said the party will now meet at 11 AM on August 13 (File)

New Delhi:

A day after a truce between Sachin Pilot and the Gandhis signaled the end of the Rajasthan Congress rebellion, the BJP cancelled a big meeting it had called at a time the Ashok Gehlot government seemed wobbly and a test of strength in the assembly on Friday was a real possibility.

The meeting of BJP MLAs has now been pushed to Thursday, a day before the special session of the Rajasthan assembly.

"We are reworking our strategy," the BJP's Gulabchand Kataria, leader of opposition, told NDTV, insisting that despite the truce, the Congress would not complete its five-year term.

"We have cancelled our meeting with MLAs today. Now we will meet on the 13th at 11 AM," Mr Kataria said.

Vasundhara Raje, the BJP's most powerful leader in Rajasthan, will also attend, he asserted.

The former Chief Minister had reportedly cried off today's meeting. "Vasundhara ji's gardener has tested Covid-19 positive. She also got herself tested, I don't know the result," Mr Kataria said. The BJP's Rajasthan chief Satish Poonia claimed the legislature party meeting was cancelled because of the Janmashtami festival.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who has repeatedly accused the BJP of collaborating with his sacked deputy Sachin Pilot and other rebels, said: "The BJP doesn't know what hit them! The suddenly cancelled their meeting. They realized that their conspiracy didn't work."

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BJP has realised their conspiracy didn't work, Ashok Gehlot told media today

He added that the BJP's scheming would "cost them dearly".

Through the Congress's month-long rebel crisis, the BJP denied any attempt to seize power by drawing away MLAs.

But the Congress pointed at tell-tale signs of the BJP's support to the rebels. The 18 rebel Congress MLAs who rushed to Delhi when Mr Pilot launched his revolt stayed for four weeks in two resorts in BJP-ruled Haryana. When cops from Rajasthan went looking for two rebels accused of colluding with a Union Minister to bribe MLAs, they faced a wall of Haryana cops. They never could get hold of the MLAs.

But the BJP could never give its 100 per cent to any move to topple the Rajasthan government and one of the main reasons is that Vasundhara Raje remained cold to any such plan.

A meeting called just after Mr Pilot's revolt had to be cancelled as Vasundhara Raje reportedly had no plans to attend. Sources say without the former Chief Minister's cooperation, the BJP could do very little. The BJP has 72 MLAs in the state and 45 of them are extremely loyal to Ms Raje.