Rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot yesterday met former party president Rahul Gandhi amid signals of an end to the political crisis in Rajashthan.
According to sources, after Pilot met Rahul at his residence, they again met in the presence of party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi.
Rahul and Priyanka then met party chief Sonia Gandhi.
Later, party leader K C Venugopal said the Congress will set up a three-member committee to look into Pilot’s grievances.
In a statement, Venugopal said Pilot and Rahul held a frank, open and conclusive discussion.
“Congress president Sonia Gandhi has decided that the AICC (All India Congress Committee) will constitute a three-member committee to address the issues raised by Sachin Pilot and arrive at an appropriate resolution,” the statement said.
“Sachin Pilot has met former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and expressed his grievances in detail. They have had a frank, open and conclusive discussion. Sachin Pilot has committed to working in the interest of the Congress party and the Congress government in Rajasthan,” the statement said.
The Congress sacked Pilot as deputy chief minister and president of the Rajasthan unit of the party after he revolted against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Gehlot has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to ‘buy’ Congress legislators in a bid to topple the state government.
According to sources the Congress has assured Pilot that his grievances will be addressed and his previous status -deputy chief minister and state party chief - will be restored.
Congress leaders claimed that the Pilot camp had approached top party leaders, including Ahmed Patel, for a deal and Rahul Gandhi was taken into confidence and supported the move.
The sources had earlier said that a deal has been struck between the two sides.
The Congress sources said there were no preconditions from either side.
According to them, Patel had pitched in to resolve the issue that had threatened the survival of the Gehlot government.
On Sunday night, a Congress Legislature Party meeting was held at a Jaisalmer hotel, where MLAs from the Gehlot camp are lodged, and there were mixed views on welcoming the rebels back into the party fold.
While a few MLAs suggested that the rebels should be accepted in view of the “wafer-thin margin” of the Gehlot government, others were not in such a forgiving mood.
In a related development, the Supreme Court said it will hear Rajasthan BJP MLA Madan Dilawar’s plea challenging the merger of six Bahujan Samaj Party legislators into the Congress today.
Senior lawyer Harish Salve, appearing for Dilawar, urged the court to hear the matter urgently as the assembly session is scheduled to begin on August 14.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra then posted the matter for hearing today.
Salve said that the six BSP MLAs claimed that their party had merged with the Congress, and that the assembly speaker had passed an order accepting the merger in September 2019.
Salve argued that the BSP itself claimed to be an original political party, and it didn’t merge with the Congress in Rajasthan.
He insisted that the question of merger cannot be decided in an abstract manner.
Salve said that his client had filed a disqualification petition in March 2020, which was dismissed by the speaker on technical grounds in July.
He said his client has also moved the high court and a notice has been issued in the matter.
Dilawar said that assembly elections were held in Rajasthan on December 7, 2018 in which the six MLAs were elected on tickets issued by the BSP.
Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha contested the polls on BSP tickets, but later defected to the Congress in September 2019.
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