A political crisis erupted in Rajasthan on Sunday, 25 September, sending the Congress government into free fall.
MLAs rebelled against the likely decision to make Sachin Pilot the chief minister of Rajasthan if current CM Ashok Gehlot, who is a contender in the upcoming Congress presidential election, were to step down.
Over 90 Rajasthan Congress MLAs submitted their resignation to Speaker CP Joshi on Sunday to mark their protest, bringing down the total strength in the Assembly to 108. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the other hand, has 71 legislators, well beyond the halfway mark of 55.
Meanwhile, the Congress Legislative Party meeting to decide on a potential change in leadership is scheduled to be held on Monday, after being postponed the previous day.
Opposition to Pilot as CM
Several MLAs have slammed the candidature of Pilot as CM, with some saying that Gehlot should remain as the Rajasthan CM even if he becomes the Congress chief and others saying that if Gehlot were to step down, the next CM must be somebody from their camp.
Rajasthan Minister Subhash Garg said that it was "regrettable" that Pilot was being chosen for the post of CM despite "leading a conspiracy in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party to topple the state government" two years ago.
Garg also said that Gehlot must be brought in the loop while deciding the next Rajasthan CM so that they can form the government in 2023, when the next election in the state is scheduled to be held.
On the other hand, Minister GR Meghwal endorsed Gehlot to remain in the post of CM, saying that "he can handle both responsibilities."
This comes despite Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reiterating that everybody in the party must follow the principle of 'one man, one post' as decided in the party's 'Chintan Shivir' held earlier this year.
Another MLA named Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said that 102 MLAs, who were supporters of CM Gehlot, were being ignored while the views of only 10-15 (Pilot loyalists) MLAs were being prioritised.
Meanwhile, Gehlot and All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary KC Venugopal had a phone conversation, in which the former reportedly told the latter, "I have nothing in my hands, MLAs are angry."
However, this has been denied by Venugopal. "Neither did I talk to CM Ashok Gehlot today, nor did he call me, things will be sorted out soon," he said, as per ANI.
(With inputs from ANI.)