Sachin Pilot, who is now caught between a High Court breather and a possible disqualification from the Rajasthan Assembly, was sacked as the deputy chief minister of the state after he reportedly refused to budge from his demand to be made the chief minister within a year, said an NDTV report.
Pilot was adamant on his demand and had refused to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi unless they accepted his demand, said the report quoting sources close to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi.
Pilot was reportedly sacked within three hours of a call between him and Priyanka, who had been trying to convince him to end his rebellion.
A day after he was sacked, Pilot on July 15 had tweeted that he was still a Congressman and had no plans to join the BJP, a statement which was construed as an olive branch to the Congress leadership. Soon after the party’s state secretary Avinash Pande said that the doors of the party are still open for Pilot. Reports said, while the party had no qualms in taking him back, it was still reluctant to fulfil Pilot’s demand to be made the chief minister as Ashok Gehlot showed a stable majority of over 100 MLAs, good enough to save his government.
The NDTV report, quoting Pilot’s confidantes said that the leader was “aggrieved” at being sacked soon after the phone call with Priyanka.
Related news: Pilot’s camp gets a breather till July 21
“On one hand, the Congress talks of ‘doors open’ and on the other hand I am sacked and disqualification notice is sent. I am attacked by Ashok Gehlot,” sources quoted the leader as saying, as per the report.
Pilot and 18 of his rebel loyalists who were sent disqualification notices by the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi, had moved the Rajasthan High Court challenging the same. The court on Friday (July 17) gave Pilot and the rebel MLAs a four-day reprieve from any action by the speaker and extended its hearing on the issue to the next week.
The court’s order came on the same day the Congress suspended MLAs Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh from the primary membership of the party and filed an FIR against BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for allegedly brokering a deal between the BJP and the rebel Congress MLAs.
The party in a press conference also released transcripts of an alleged conversation between BJP and Congress MLAs over a possible switch over.