Jaipur/ New Delhi:
Minutes after being dismissed from every office he held in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot tweeted, “The truth can be harassed but not defeated.”
It was the 42-year-old’s first public comment in nearly two days; his last statement was to NDTV. “Nobody wants to leave his home, but can’t continue to put up with this kind of humiliation; my MLAs and supporters are extremely hurt and I will have to listen to them,” he told senior journalist and political analyst Javed Ansari.
The Congress and Mr Pilot have clearly run out of road. All that remains now is for him to make it official by stating that he is exiting the Congress. Mr Pilot is expected to address a press meet tomorrow at 10 AM.
Even as the party sacked him this afternoon as Deputy Chief Minister of his home state of Rajasthan, and as the president of the Congress in the state, it urged him to return messages seeking talks.
सत्य को परेशान किया जा सकता है पराजित नहीं।
— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) July 14, 2020
Mr Pilot took a hard pass on that offer. Like yesterday, he was a no-show this morning at a meeting of Congress legislators chaired by Ashok Gehlot, his boss and the reason for his break-up from the Conrgess.
Sources say Mr Pilot made it clear that he would not yield on his demand of wanting to be promoted to Mr Gehlot’s job. The Congress conveyed to him that would not be possible but that it would give him better and more posts for his followers.
Though Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot have clashed habitually, the inflection point for the red-hot crisis that has turned into break point was Mr Pilot receiving a notice from the state police that made him part of an investigation into determining whether the BJP was attempting to buy Congress legislators to dissolve the Congress government in Rajasthan.
The state police reports directly to Mr Gehlot; it was clear the notice to Mr Pilot was an attempt to signal the power of Mr Gehlot. Though the Chief Minister said that he too would have to answer the police’s questions, the comeback lacked chops.
Yesterday, Mr Gehlot invited camera crews into his residence to show off the more than 100 MLAs that were gathered there, flashing the Victory sign. However, a little later, the MLAS were escorted by him to a resort, giving away the precariousness of the situation.
This morning’s meeting was held at the same resort after which Mr Gehlot visited the Governor to reassure him that he has more than the 101 MLAs required to remain in power. But from the resort leaked videos of MLAs belonging to a small regional party, alleging that they are being held captive.
Aware that Mr Gehlot’s claim of having the required numbers may lack substance, the BJP met in Jaipur and decided it can legit ask for a trust vote.