Written by Deep Mukherjee
| Jaipur |
Updated: August 1, 2020 7: 21: 59 am
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, flanked by Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee President Sachin Pilot addressing a press conference. (File Photo)
At least one of the rebel MLAs in Rajasthan loyal to former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot has said that if the Congress party issues a whip, he and the other MLAs will attend the upcoming Assembly session that is set to be convened on August 14.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Friday, Gajendra Singh Shaktawat, MLA from Vallabhnagar in Udaipur and one of the 18 legislators in the Pilot camp, said, “We are with Sachin Pilot and will abide by whatever decision he takes. We have never spoken about leaving the Congress party. If the Congress issues a whip, I will definitely attend the Assembly session. We will raise our voice from within by being inside the party.”
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He added that a whip is only effective inside the House and can’t be issued for other meetings.
The rebel MLAs had skipped two meetings of the Congress Legislature Party, one of the reasons that Mahesh Joshi, the Congress chief whip in the Assembly, cited in his petition to Speaker C P Joshi, seeking the disqualification of Pilot and the other 18 legislators.
“All we wanted was a change in leadership. A person who worked hard for six years to form the government in Rajasthan, you abuse him by calling him nikamma… This is a battle of self-respect. You are abusing your own family members. We have never spoken with anybody from the BJP. We don’t want to leave the Congress,” said Shaktawat, whose father, late Gulab Singh Shaktawat, was a key Congress leader who was elected multiple times from the Vallabnagar Assembly seat.
Another Pilot loyalist and MLA from Ladnun, Mukesh Bhakar, told The Indian Express that he believes in the Congress ideology and won’t leave the party for the BJP.
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