Prakash Bhandari, Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has refused to budge against the pressures of the senior Congress leadership to settle differences with dissidents led by Sachin Pilot.
Ashok Gehlot made it clear that the dissidents are welcome to return to the party fold unconditionally if they offer apologies to the high command. But they should not expect anything in return.
Gehlot said he was indebted to the 100 loyal MLAs who sided with him and the party during the worst crisis. The CM is learned to have sent this feeler to Priyanka Gandhi, who is trying to bring the two factions together. He has conveyed to her that he would not let down the flock of 100 MLAs in the bargain against those who tried to break the party.
Ashok Gehlot’s fear
“Loyalists cannot be weighed on the same scale as the dissidents, who were out to destabilise the government. Any attempt to accommodate the dissidents will lead to a further split in the party” Gehlot has conveyed this feeling to the party’s leadership in Delhi.
Gehlot is afraid that the party may split further if the dissidents were given plum positions. He is in touch with all the MLAs on a personal level. During the three weeks stay in the hotel, he tried to solve the problems of each MLAs constituency. In fact, the new 32 colleges which have been sanctioned are located in the constituencies of the loyal MLAs.
CM softens stand on dissidents
Gehlot has softened his stand on the dissidents and he has initiated measures to ensure that they come back to the party’s fold, but unconditionally. It is leaned that Pilot has demanded that he would return only if Gehlot is removed as the chief minister and all the 22 dissidents will have to be accommodated in the ministry.
The biggest issue before the Congress is to save the Rajasthan government as the party is ruling only in Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh.
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