Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot has rejected speculations of a rift between himself and state’s Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, amid fears of defections in the local leadership ahead of the crucial elections to the Rajya Sabha. “We are united… we have more than the required number for the majority. Our Rajya Sabha candidates Neeraj Dangi and KC Venugopal will win,” Pilot was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Thursday.
In a late evening development on Wednesday, the Congress MLAs in Rajasthan were called to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence and then to a resort for a meeting with observers from the party high command.
The speculations of any differences between Chief Minister Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot were earlier also rejected by senior party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who termed the reported rift a “canard spread by the political adversaries”.
Singhvi accused the BJP of “brazen use of money power” to lure the MLAs and said that the party will give a representation to the Election Commission, first for Gujarat and then on Rajasthan.
Gehlot has also alleged that BJP is trying to poach MLAs but the BJP has rejected the charge. He also said that he was proud to be the Chief Minister of the state where MLAs cannot be bought.
The Rajya Sabha polls in Rajasthan have become interesting after the BJP fielded its second candidate which has forced a contest in the state.
Congress has fielded its General Secretary, Organisation, KC Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi while the BJP, which could elect one, has also fielded two candidates.
In Gujarat, the party has already faced an exodus of MLAs and the party is finding it tough to win the second seat in the state.
(with IANS inputs)