New Delhi: The Special Operation Group sent two notices “simultaneously” to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot to record their statements in an alleged case of bribing of MLAs to topple the Congress government in the state.
The notice was given on July 10 by Additional SP SOG which said that they want to record statements of Pilot under 160 CrPC and a similar notice was given to the Chief Minister.
While Gehlot clarified on Sunday and tweeted that “SOG has given notice to Chief Minister and Deputy CM, ministers and MLAs to record statements on a complaint of Congress that BJP is trying to lure MLAs with money but some media houses are twisting the fact.”
The Chief Minister on Saturday had maintained that he will abide by the notices given by the agency.
The notice which has irked Deputy Chief Minister Pilot was sent at the behest of the Chief Minister who heads the home department in the state, said sources close to the Deputy Chief Minister. Pilot felt humiliated said a source and left for Delhi along with his loyal MLAs including three independents – Om Prakash Hudla, Suresh Tank and Khushveer Singh.
Even Tourism Minister Vishvendra Pratap Singh considered close to Pilot skipped the meet called by Chief Minister and has left for Delhi though he tweeted that he is visiting his ailing sister.
Pilot claims to have support of more than 30 MLAs and more than 20 MLAs are lodged in different places in Delhi and Gurugram.
Sources say that “All is not well” in Rajasthan Congress as the fight has reached a “point of no return”.
Equally, it is believed that Pilot may be posturing for he wants to remain PCC chief in the state and stay out of the government where apparently the CM is humiliating him. The posturing is to show the high command that he should not be taken lightly.
Sources added that if the high command does not step in then the matter can go the Madhya Pradesh way with Pilot following in the footsteps of Jyotiraditya Scindia who crossed over to the BJP.
While Pilot has gone incommunicado and is said to be in touch with top leaders of BJP the numbers game does not support Pilot to topple the government said sources close the Gehlot camp in Jaipur and it is said that the Chief Minister has the required numbers to sail through a floor test. Though similar claims were made by Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh and he had to resign without facing the test.
Congress sources say that the party has support of 116 MLAs and BJP has only 72 MLAs. But more MLAs could join if Pilot takes the extreme step to cross the fence.
Thus the notice by SOG has come as the last nail in the coffin of the relationship between Gehlot and Pilot which was already was on the brink of collapse and if the Congress high command doesn’t step in at this high time the matter can become worse as senior party leader Kapil Sibal commented “Will we wake up only after the horses have bolted from our stables?”