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‘No meetings with Sachin Pilot,’ maintains BJP; says ‘no role in trying to topple Gehlot govt



The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has maintained that it has no role in trying to topple the Gehlot government in Rajasthan and the allegations made by the chief minister are an attempt to deflect from the party’s own failings.

“No meetings have taken place between Sachin Pilot and the BJP leadership. Everyone knows there are problems between the CM and the deputy CM, but they are trying to pin the blame on the BJP,” said a party leader in Delhi. Several other party leaders also asserted that the BJP is not engineering any defections.

On whether the party will stake claim to forming the government if a faction of Congress MLAs does break away, a second leader said, “The outcome will depend on what decision the Congress high command takes. The BJP will only take whatever decisions are required once there is a decision from the Congress’ side.”

Also read: Before the crisis, Sachin Pilot met Ahmad Patel

There has been speculation that deputy chief minister Pilot, along with 25 other MLAs, will either join the BJP or float his own party that could seek support from the BJP. In the 200-member state assembly, the BJP has 72 MLAs and the half-way mark is 101. The Congress has 107 MLAs and also enjoys support from 12 independents and five from other parties.

“The numbers are critical. The BJP is confident that if a re-election happens in the state it will win with a comfortable majority. However, those who will join and seek re-election have to be equally confident of retaining their seats,” said the second functionary.

A Rajasthan based leader said the party is also wary of having a situation similar to Madhya Pradesh, where internal bickering has intensified after the CM Shivraj Singh government accommodated Congress rebels in his cabinet.


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