A day after hinting that ousted Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot was en route to joining the BJP, senior BJP leaders said that it was not on the horizon as of now. The reason the senior leaders who are dealing with the situation said was down to the fact that at least a dozen MLAs with Mr. Pilot were reluctant to make the move.
Rajasthan political crisis | Sachin Pilot says he is not joining BJP
A Rajasthan State core committee meet that was scheduled to be held in Jaipur has been put off till former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who has been maintaining a stoic silence on the events in the State, arrives in Jaipur.
“We had decided the timing of the BJP meeting based on Sachin Pilot’s press conference but now that has been cancelled, I have asked Vasundhara Raje ji to arrive in Jaipur by evening,” said Leader of the Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria. Senior BJP leader Om Mathur has already reached Jaipur in anticipation of the meeting.
Mr. Pilot did not hold a press conference but did speak to presspersons, including from The Hindu , that he was in fact not joining the BJP. Senior BJP sources said that “some MLAs loyal to Sachin Pilot were not in favour of joining the BJP, around a dozen of them.”
The fate of Mr. Pilot is also inextricably linked with the equations in the State unit of the BJP, with Ms. Raje not saying a word, and the talks with him seeming to emanate from Delhi. Ms. Raje’s dominant position in the party could have been jettisoned with Mr. Pilot’s entry along with MLAs loyal to him had he had the numbers he had claimed to have, that of 30 MLAs. That has not come to fruition, however, with Mr. Gehlot managing to retain a majority of MLAs.
Rajasthan political crisis | Vasundhara Raje’s silence rings out loud
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh seemed to be alluding to Ms. Raje’s hand in Mr. Gehlot managing to save his government. “Is there a possibility of a reverse swing by Vasundhara ji ? Who knows? We all know how much [Prime Minister] Modi and Vasundhara ji ‘admire’ each other and the same time Ashok Gehlot is a trained magician!! So one never knows when he would pull ‘a rabbit out of his hat’,” he tweeted.
The BJP also seemed to be veering to the view that Mr. Pilot may yet launch a party of his own, an interesting intervention in the largely bi-party State. “If that happens, that too will work in our favour,” said a leader, but did not specify why.