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Sachin Pilot removed as deputy CM, state party chief by Congress

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In a major development, the Congress has sacked Sachin Pilot as the Rajasthan deputy chief minister and the state party chief. Along with Sachin Pilot, two Rajasthan ministers who had joined the Pilot camp have also been dropped from the cabinet.

The decision to sack the rebel leader was announced by Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Tuesday after Sachin Pilot skipped a second meeting of the Rajasthan MLAs.

“I regret that Sachin Pilot and some of his associates have been swayed by the BJP’s plot and are now conspiring to topple the Congress government elected by 8 crore Rajasthanis. It is unacceptable,” the Congress spokesperson said.

During the CLP meeting, resolutions were passed to sack Sachin Pilot as the Rajasthan Congress president. It authorised CM Gehlot to remove Pilot as his deputy.

Following this, Ashok Gehlot sacked Sachin Pilot as the deputy CM. He also dropped two of the Pilot loyalist ministers, identified as Ramesh Meena and Vishwendra Singh.

Ashok Gehlot did not address the media after the Congress meet of the MLAs and instead headed straight to Governor Kalraj Mishra to inform him about the reshuffling of the state cabinet.

After Sachin Pilot was removed as the state party chief, the Congress appointed Govind Singh Dotasra as the Rajasthan PCC Chief.

The political crisis in Rajasthan began on Friday when the police sent a notice to Sachin Pilot asking him to record his statement over the alleged bid to bring down the Gehlot government.

Also Read: BTP asks its MLAs in Rajasthan to abstain from voting

Sachin Pilot has been upset since he was denied the Rajasthan chief minister’s post after the December 2018 assembly elections. Rebelling against Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot went incommunicado, while his supporters claimed to have the backing of 30 Congress MLAs and some independents.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Congress was said to be a second chance for Sachin Pilot. Though the Congress made appeals to Sachin Pilot to attend the second meeting of Congress Legislature Party, he turned down all appeals.

In the 200-member Assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the BJP 72. In the past, the ruling party has claimed the support of 13 independents, two MLAs each from the CPM and the Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP), and one from the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).

Speaking on the developments, Ashok Gehlot had alleged that the opposition BJP was trying to lure Congress MLAs. The BJP, however, dismissed the allegation, saying the developments only reflected a power struggle within the ruling party.

Pilot skips second Congress meet, Gehlot camp’s MLA count dips to 102