The power struggle between Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (right) and his Deputy Sachin Pilot (left) has put state's Congress government in the crisis.

Gehlot holds on Jaipur fort as Pilot finds himself grounded

TNW, New Delhi, July 13: Even as the Income Tax Department on July 13 carried out raids on some trusted lieutenants of the Rajasthan Chief Minister, the Ashok Gehlot government appears set to survive the latest political challenge. 

The deputy CM Sachin Pilot, according to reports, is finding himself isolated in the ongoing power struggle. Political sources revealed that the Pilot loyalists are not very sure about their own future in the BJP camp.

Unlike in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress is in slightly better situation as it has 107 MLA in the house of two hundred. Besides, there are 13 independent MLA’s who are considered close to Gehlot. 

The BJP has much bigger challenge in Rajasthan than in Madhya Pradesh where in 2018 assembly election the Congress ended up with 114 seats in the house of 230. The BJP’s tally was 107. Here in Rajasthan the BJP ended with just 72 seats in the total 200 seats. Thus, the saffron party is far behind the halfway mark.

The BJP is nursing its wound after the recent humiliation in the Rajya Sabha election, as the Congress won two seats while the BJP only one. 

Pilot, who initially had support of just over a dozen or so MLAs found himself somewhat isolated as the BJP, reportedly, refused to leave the chief ministerial seat for him. The supporters of Pilot were seen in the legislative meeting called by Ashok Gehlot which is seen as a show of strength by the Chief Minister. Meanwhile, the Congress high command rushed Randeep Surjewala, Avinash Panday, Ajay Maken and K.C. Venogopal to Jaipur in the wee hours of July 13 to save the state government.

Surjewala talking to media persons said that the Congress central leadership’s doors are always open for Sachin Pilot to talk.

Yet the raids by income tax authority at this crucial juncture, reportedly, on key fundraisers of the CM raised suspicion. The timing of this action has made it amply clear that the BJP is fishing in the dirty water. 

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