NEW DELHI: The Sachin Pilot camp has countered Congress’s criticism that the rebel MLAs have sought shelter in Haryana where BJP is in office, saying CM Ashok Gehlot has held party MLAs in a resort and should allow them to go to their homes.
Sources close to Pilot said MLAs opposed to Gehlot were being “hounded” by Rajasthan police and they were in no position to return to Jaipur where they would be subjected to coercive tactics. “A special operations group has been set after them, Congress has no basis to ask whether the MLAs are in one state or another,” an MLA said. The Pilot camp claimed that the MLAs were in fact not at the hotel in Manesar which has been the focus of much attention. It was pointed out that the MLAs were fending for themselves and would be ready to participate in a floor test whenever it was held.
The rebels continued to insist that they were not responsible for the escalation of hostilities, saying Gehlot had taken a series of hostile steps. “If he says there was no conversation with Pilot for 18 months, then what sort of a government was he running?” a source asked.
With the focus on court proceedings on Monday, the rebel camp expects to point to the “haste” with which the Speaker has acted in serving notices and seeking responses on the issue of disqualification. The MLAs intend to argue that there was a premeditated intent to ensure their disqualification to benefit the Gehlot government in a floor test.
The rebels said the CM’s majority claims were on paper and the true situation would emerge if the MLAs were let free. The legal battle may continue even if the Speaker has his way as the MLAs will then approach the Supreme Court.