Rajasthan news: Signs of thaw in Rajasthan as Congress sends out feelers to Sachin Pilot camp | India News – Times of India

Amid its ongoing confrontation with Sachin Pilot, conciliatory signals have emerged from Congress with party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala saying the Rajasthan former deputy CM can return to the fold if he gives up BJP’s “hospitality” and “security” of Haryana police.
The remarks come even as talks with the rebel faction — holed up in Haryana — have resumed in recent days. Though at a nebulous stage, the opening for compromise is a marked departure from the estrangement that looked imminent amid mounting court battles and CM Ashok Gehlot’s sharp comments in response to the demand for a change in leadership in the state. The talks can still go either way, it is felt in Congress quarters, with sources in the rebel camp making it clear the issue needing discussion is leadership change.
Pilot has said his rebellion was provoked by a “vindictive” police probe against him over allegations of horse-trading, blaming it on Gehlot and pointed to FIRs against him and other MLAs in his camp even while underlining his claim to the CM’s post.
On Tuesday, the two camps squared up again. Congress, when asked about talks with rebels, said, “The legislators should first give up the Haryana police’s security, the friendship and hospitality of BJP, return home and only then will the dialogue take place.” A couple of days earlier, Gehlot had said that he would not stand on prestige if the party forgives the dissidents.
In retaliation, the Pilot camp upped the ante with three MLAs demanding a change in leadership and attacking Gehlot in strong words. Hemaram Chaudhary, Ved Prakash Solanki and Indraj Singh said it was a fight for “self respect and against the dictatorial attitude of Gehlot”. They said they will remain in Congress and were only opposing the CM.
Gehlot has accused Pilot of plotting against his government in league with rival BJP though he has softened his posture. Following the political crisis kicked off by Pilot’s rebellion, Rajasthan assembly will meet from August 14 during which a trust motion by Gehlot is a likelihood. It will force the rebels to return to Jaipur. But the session will also test the Congress state government as it just has the numbers to prove majority in the House.
The rebels feel the CM’s numbers have declined and are also awaiting the results of proceedings in the Supreme Court and the Rajasthan High Court.
A couple of other developments can have some impact on the floor test. While the Speaker and Congress both have challenged the high court stay on disqualification notice to rebels, a petition by BJP challenging the merger of 6-MLA BSP into Congress will come up for hearing in the HC on August 11.
If a compromise has to happen, it will have to settle the rehabilitation package of rebels to their satisfaction somewhat. Besides, Pilot was sacked as deputy chief minister and Rajasthan Congress chief after he left Jaipur with his contingent of supporting MLAs on July 11 and a proper role for him will have to be found.

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