The Congress on July 13 called upon Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and MLAs supporting him to raise issues arising out of differences of opinion on party forums and attend the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting in Jaipur. “The doors of the Congress are always open...talk to us,” Randeep Surjewala, the party’s chief spokesperson, said here.
Mr. Surjewala, camping in Jaipur after being deputed to handle the political crisis , said in a press conference here that the party leadership had spoken to Mr. Pilot on the prevailing situation several times during the last 48 to 72 hours. Nothing should be done to weaken the party or give an opportunity to the BJP to indulge in the horse-trading attempts, he said.
In an indication of the attempts being made for rapprochement, Mr. Surjewala said Mr. Pilot, being the Pradesh Congress Committee president, was a member of the Congress family. “When a family member gets upset, he does not work to bring the family down. We appeal to him to come with an open mind and discuss all the issues.”
The Congress leader said though he had read the reports attributed to Mr. Pilot claiming that 30 MLAs and a few Independents had pledged support to him, he would not believe them unless the Deputy CM himself announced his stand. “We are here to serve Rajasthan. The State is bigger than the personal competition,” he remarked.
While the Ministers and MLAs gathered at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s official residence for attending the CLP meeting, the posters of Mr. Pilot were removed from the Pradesh Congress Committee’s headquarters here.
Mr. Surjewala affirmed that the Congress government in the State was stable and would complete its full term. No amount of conspiracy by the BJP for toppling the government would succeed under any circumstances, he said.
Mr. Surjewala also took a dig at the BJP for the Income Tax Department’s raids on the premises of a few Congress office-bearers in Jaipur on Monday morning. He said the BJP had three “frontal organisations” in the shape of the I-T Department, Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation.
“The I-T raids are a clear act of revenge, but we will not allow the BJP to succeed in its nefarious designs,” Mr. Surjewala, accompanied by Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Avinash Pande, said.