Be tolerant for democracy's sake, Gehlot advises Congress MLAs on return of Team Pilot

PTI24-07-2020_000061B, Rajasthan CM Ashok Ghelot in Jaipur, PTI24-07-2020_000061B
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot along with senior Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala (L), Avinash Pandey (2nd from L) and Ajay Maken (R) speaks to media, outside a hotel in Jaipur.

Jaisalmer: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said resentment among the Congress MLAs lodged in hotels for a month since the crisis broke out was natural but he has exhorted the legislators to "bear it" to save democracy.

In an apparent reference to the return of Sachin Pilot and other rebel MLAs, the chief minister said that he told the MLAs on Tuesday night that they have to bear and work in the interest of people.

A meeting between Pilot and Rahul Gandhi on Monday signalled an "amicable resolution" of nearly a month-long Rajasthan crisis ahead of the crucial assembly session from August 14.

The Congress had said that the crisis in Rajasthan is a "closed chapter" and all legislators supporting its government will work towards strengthening Rajasthan and fighting COVID-19 and other economic calamities.

Before leaving for Jodhpur, Gehlot told reporters, "It is natural for them (MLAs) to be upset. The way this episode happened, they had to stay in it was natural to be upset. I have exhorted them that in the interest of the country, state, people of the state and for saving democracy, sometimes we have to bear.

MLAs belonging to the Gehlot camp were lodged in hotels for close to a month as the political crisis in the state played out.

We will work together and our colleagues who have gone have also returned and I hope that all, after settling the complaints and grievances, will work and fulfill our commitment to serve the state, he said, referring to the rebel MLAs.

The chief minister reiterated the allegation that the BJP was trying to topple the state government and said it was fully "exposed".

However, it could not succeed in its game...'Satyamev Jayate', Gehlot said.

The BJP has in the past denied the allegations levelled by Gehlot.

The chief minister said that he recently wrote a letter to all the MLAs asking them to listen to the voice of conscience and people to save democracy and stand with the truth.

It was the impact of the letter that BJP booked three charter planes to take their MLAs to Gujarat but only one plane could go, he said.

Gehlot maintained that democracy was maintained in the country due to the contribution of Congress leaders and hoped that democracy is sustained in the country.

MLAs return to Jaipur

Sachin Pilot
In this file photo dated Aug.11, 2018, rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot with then Congress President Rahul Gandhi during a party meeting at Ramlila Maidan in Jaipur. Pilot was on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 removed from posts of Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state unit president. (PTI Photo)

Rajasthan Congress MLAs who were staying in Jaisalmer for the past few days arrived in Jaipur on Wednesday.

The legislators reached the city by air and are being taken to Hotel Fairmont in Kukas on the Jaipur-Delhi highway.

"We are going to Hotel Fairmont, and the next strategy will be decided by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot," Transport Minister Pratap Singh said.

Defeat of BJP's horse-trading: Congress

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday said the resolution of the Rajasthan political crisis has dealt a blow to the BJP's "horse-trading" politics.

Describing young leaders such as Sachin Pilot as the future of the party, the veteran Congress MP also hailed the political acumen of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for "beating BJP at its own game".

"The Rajasthan episode has destroyed the myth that the BJP and its theatrics cannot be beaten. The horse-trading politics of the BJP has been defeated.

"It was a pleasure to watch BJP shifting its MLAs to other states out of fear that they might switch over to the Congress," Chowdhury told PTI.

The BJP can be defeated at their own game and Rajasthan is an example of it, he said.

"Ashok Gehlot's political acumen forced BJP to call for a retreat. I am really happy that Sachin Pilot has returned to Rajasthan. The development proves that we can solve any crisis amicably. Leaders like Sachin Pilot are future of our party," the member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) said.

Asked whether the resolution of the political impasse in the western state has bolstered Rahul Gandhi's stature in the party as a leader who can manage crises, Chowdhury said, he had already proved his abilities during the formation of the government in Karnataka in 2018.

Chowdhury said Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi also played a crucial role in resolving the Rajasthan crisis.

Sachin Pilot returned to Jaipur on Tuesday, nearly a month after he rebelled against Gehlot.

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