Jaipur, Sep 27: Two days after their open “revolt” created a crisis for the Congress in Rajasthan, several MLAs, who had tendered their resignation on Sunday against the possibility of Sachin Pilot replacing Ashok Gehlot as Chief Minister, were now changing their stand and expressing confidence in the top leadership.
Bamanwas MLA Indira Meena said: “I signed on a paper. But I didn’t know what it was.”
She said it will be good if Pilot becomes CM.
Talking to the media, she said: “State minister Mahesh Joshi called and said that there is a meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence. In the afternoon, I got a call that there is a meeting at (state minister) Shanti Dhariwal’s residence. I did not go to Dhariwal’s place and then was asked to come at Speaker C.P. Joshi’s residence. We were asked to sign on a paper which I did not read. Everyone was silent there.”
Another MLA Prashant Bairwa said: “I could not attend the meeting but I visited C.P. Joshi’s residence and resigned. All these steps are being taken in haste, nobody knows what will happen next.”
MLA Divya Maderna was harsh. “How can Mahesh Joshi boycott the CLP meeting being a chief whip of the party. Now onwards I will not be taking any directions from him. He phoned all legislators to come for the CLP and in parallel, led anti-party activity at Dhariwal’s residence.”
Citing earlier cases from state politics, she said: “The decision out of a one line resolution in 1998 didn’t suit Parasram Maderna ji and entire farmer community. In 2008, it didn’t suit Dr CP Joshi ji and entire Brahmin community. In 2018, it didn’t suit Sachin Pilot ji and entire Gujjar community. But each time, everyone accepted it.
“But it suited a certain segment for last 22 years. It was for the first time, that the one line resolution didn’t suit a certain segment for their own political interest and they revolted. When it suits them, then the high command decision is acceptable and when it doesn’t suit you – you revolt.”
Many other Congress MLAs expressed support for the high command.
MLA Ganga Devi said: “I have no idea about the letter, I reached there late. I did not read the letter, I did not resign, we are with the decision of the high command….”
On Tuesday morning itself, Gehlot camp MLA Sandeep Yadav issued a video message saying: “I am with the Congress high command. I am ready to accept their decisions.”
MLA Madan Prajapati also changed his stand and said that he did not mind making Pilot the Chief Minister.
MLA Jitendra Singh, who resigned at Dhariwal’s house, said: “This resignation work is wrong. I am with the high command, I will support whoever is made the Chief Minister. I was called to the Chief Minister’s residence for a meeting of the legislature party, from where I was called to Dhariwal’s bungalow.”
Dhariwal, the Urban Development and Housing Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, had called a meeting of MLAs from the Gehlot camp at his house and reportedly strategised ways to ensure Gehot stays as Chief Minister.
The official meeting of the Congress Legislature Party was to be held at 7 pm on Sunday, at the Chief Minister’s residence in Jaipur, but before that Gehlot’s loyalists gathered at the bungalow of Dhariwal. From here, the group of MLAs reached the bungalow of the Speaker and collectively submitted their resignation to him.